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Indigenous Studies

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

Books and eBooks

When you're looking at books or eBooks as sources for information, remember that you don't necessarily have to read the whole book. Sometimes there will be a chapter or two on your topic that is just what you need.

Want to restrict your search to books or eBooks only? Once you have performed your search you can use the limiters in the "Refine Results" column to the left of your search results. There are a couple of limiters that you can use:

  • Limit To: select "Catalog Only (Books & Media)"
  • Resource Types: select "Books" and/or "eBooks"

Books in your search results

  • Location tells you which campus library has the book
  • Click "Place Request" to have a book delivered from one campus to another
  • Click the book title and you can see the chapter titles under "content notes"

eBooks in your search results

  • Look for links like "Access Full Text" or "Click here to access eBook"
  • Choose to "read online" or download (some books may have restrictions on how many pages/chapters you can download)
  • "Search within book" allows you to search for keywords/phrases in the text

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 or 300xxxxxx@emp.oc) and password.
  • Save items for later by using the "tools" buttons to the right of the item's record. We recommend e-mailing the item to yourself or copying the permalink to the item (TIP: don't copy the web browser URL as it will not take you back to your item later).

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the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources related to Indigenous peoples; please contact us if you'd like assistance navigating this.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