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Indigenous Studies

This guide provides resources related to the interdisciplinary field of Indigenous Studies.

Accessing Material at OC Library

At Okanagan College Library, we use OCtopus to search for library materials. You can start your search here:

Keep in mind:

  • Online resources can often be emailed, printed, or downloaded.
  • Renew your checked out materials online, by phone, or in person at your campus library.
  • Place Request links next to library materials allows you to request to have a book or DVD delivered from one OC Campus Library to another.
  • Restricted access materials in some databases will require you to be logged into your library account in order to see them. If you are having trouble accessing material, make sure you are logged in using your myOkanagan username (e.g. 300xxxxxx@stu.oc) and password.

Saving Items for Later

Found a book, article or other item in the library catalogue that you would like to save for later?

You will see a set of tools to the right of the item's record that will help you do that. We recommend the e-mail or permalink option.

For example, it's tempting to copy the URL in your browser but unfortunately, that will not get you back to the same record later! Instead, click on the permalink icon and you will see it appear just above the item's title. Copy the permalink instead of the browser URL.

Finding Resources at OC Library

IMPORTANT: the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources related to Indigenous peoples; please contact us if you'd like assistance navigating this.

Combine keywords related to the concept of Indigenous identity with keywords related to your area of interest.

For example:

Indigenous Aboriginal "First Nations"
Inuit Métis "Indians of North America"
Indian Native Name of Nation or Community (e.g. Secwépemc)

Search Tips:

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase (e.g. "First Nations").
  • Use an asterisk to search for words with the same stem (e.g. Indigen* retrieves Indigenous, Indigeneity).
  • Terminology changes over time. You many need to search for alternative spellings of a word, for example: Sto:lo, Stó:lô, Staulo, Stahlo or you may need to search for alternate words, for example: Kwakiutl/Kwakwaka'wakw or Nootka/Nuu-chah-nulth

Subject headings are a tool designed to help researchers find similar materials. These are only some examples of the many subject headings that Okanagan College Library uses. Spend a few minutes exploring them when you find a book in the catalogue that supports your research.

Search by Subject Terms

  • Indians of North America
  • First Nations
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Native peoples -- Canada
  • Indigenous peoples -- Canada
  • Haida Indians


Below is an example of where to find subject areas that are part of an item's record. You can click on them to find other materials with the same subject heading.

Okanagan College Library uses the Library of Congress classification system (or system of knowledge organization). Classification systems are used as a way to arrange, group, and order materials. The Library of Congress classification system was originally devised between 1898 and 1912 which is part of why outdated, sometimes offensive, terminology can be found in the system. Often, materials about Indigenous peoples fall under "history" as shown below:

Class E-F: History of the Americas

  • E75-99 Indians of North America
  • E81-83 Indian Wars
  • E99 Indian tribes and cultures

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