Decolonizing: Dialogues, Solidarities, and Activism: Semester in Dialogue

Belzberg Library welcomes students in the Spring 2017 Semester in Dialogue to SFU Vancouver. We would like to acknowledge that this course and this institution are on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh Úxwumixw (Squamish), and Tsleil-Waututh peoples.

This research guide will help you to use our library to find and evaluate research material for your projects. If you need further help don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian in person, by phone, email or online chat reference.

Research sources

Library research involves selecting your topic, identifying the best sources and appropriate research tools, accessing the items found and evaluating your results. Start Your Research Here is a brief guide that will help you with this process.

Start your hunt for information "at home" by visiting the SFU Library home page. This gathers all the best research tools, guides and research help in one place. Try our Library Search engine from the home page to quickly find books, articles and information on the library website in one search.

Books, articles and web sites on your course reading list or course outline can also provide a good starting point, particularly if the items include bibliographies, references or links to related material.

RESEARCH TIP: Having trouble figuring out the right keywords to use when you're researching indigenous people or indigenous issues? Take a look at this guide to First Nations terminology.

Books, ebooks, films, music, sound, slides

Search the Library Catalogue to find all books, reports, and media materials, both in print and online, in the SFU Library.

Try the following SUBJECT headings using the Browse Search feature:

  • British Columbia Ministry Of Aboriginal Relations And Reconciliation
  • Decolonization
  • First Nations -- Canada.
  • Indians Of North America -- British Columbia
    • Check out the subheadings for this SUBJECT heading
    • There are also 38 Related Subjects
  • Indians Of North America -- Canada
  • Indians Treatment Of -- Canada
  • Indigenous Women -- Canada
  • Indigenous Youth -- Canada
  • Native Peoples -- Canada
  • Reconciliation
  • Reparations for historical injustices.
  • Restorative Justice -- Canada
  • Truth Commissions -- Canada

Looking for films?  The guide to Film Information Resources provides tips for finding DVDs and videos in the SFU Library Catalogue.

National Film Board of Canada (NFB)
An online streaming collection of Canadian documentaries, movies, and video clips that includes indigenous filmmakers and topics. The NFB website also has some streaming video content freely available. In particular, check out the Indigenous Peoples of Canada Channel.

Journal and newspaper articles

All print and electronic journals subscribed to by the SFU Library are listed in the catalogue.

Use Journal Articles and Databases to find articles in academic journals, trade magazines, reports, and newspapers, as well as financial and statistical data. Many of these resources provide online access to the full text of the articles or allow you to directly request copies of articles through the "Where Can I Get This?" link. Browse by subject area to identify useful databases for your topic.

For help with searching databases, check the guides Finding Journal Articles and/or Moving From Citation to Article.

Key Resources

Academic Search Complete
Multidisciplinary database of academic and popular journals.

Bibliography of Native North Americans
Collection of articles, books, and more that cover the culture, history and life of indigenous people of North America from the 16th century to the present.

Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society
A peer-reviewed journal (2012-present) that supports and advances decolonization scholarship, practice, and activism.

Indigenous Peoples: North America
Collection of diaries, images, and other primary source documents on the political, social, and cultural life of indigenous people from the 16th to early 20th century.

North American Indian Culture and Thought
Collection of personal stories, biographies, speeches, and depictions of historical events, from the 17th century to present.

Additional Resources

Alternative Press Index
Collection of alternative and radical media journals and newspapers.

Canadian Newsstream
Full text of major Canadian newspapers and small market BC papers.

Canadian Electronic Library
Public policy documents from Canadian institutes, think-tanks, and research groups.

Canadian Research Index
Canadian government publications, both federal and provincial.

CBCA Complete (Canadian Business and Current Affairs)
Covers news, business, and academic sources with a Canadian focus.

Early Canadiana Online
Full-text collection of books and pamphlets documenting Canadian history from European arrival in North America to the late 19th century.

Early Encounters in North America
Letters, drawings, maps, photographs, and more primary source material documenting the relationship between people in North America in the period 1534-1850.

Native Health Databases
Includes health-related articles, reports, and surveys pertaining to health and health-care of indigenous people in North America.

Political Science Complete
Full-text collection of academic journals related to politics, public policy, labour, and dialogue.

Sociological Abstracts
Collection of academic journals and other resources with a focus on the sociological aspects of business, environment, law, public policy, racial interactions, and more.

Statistics and government sources

Key resource: the 2015 Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report

Canada's residential schools: the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

British Columbia

BC Stats: Aboriginal Peoples of British Columbia
Provincial data on indigenous people that includes demographic information, and statistics on topics such as labour, education, and health.

City of Vancouver
Provides information on multiple city projects and initiatives. Resources related to Vancouver's Aboriginal Communities include the Dialogues Project and the Year of Reconciliation.

Data BC
An open data initiative by the Government of British Columbia. Browse by sector and organization, or check out the Aboriginal tag.

Government of British Columbia: Aboriginal People
The provincial government's website includes information and services for indigenous people in BC, including the List of BC First Nations, the Minister's Advisory Council on Aboriginal Women (MACAW), and the New Relationship initiative.

Metro Vancouver: Aboriginal Relations
Community planning and development information for the Vancouver area, including the Aboriginal Relations Committee (ARC), treaty negotiations, and more.


Aboriginal Peoples Survey 2012
A national survey on the social and economic conditions of indigenous people in Canada. Contains detailed information beyond what is collected in the Canadian Census.

Government of Canada Open Data Portal
Federal open government datasets. Browse by department, subject, or geospatial collection. Includes links to other open data initiatives available at the provincial and municipal level.

Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada
The website of the federal ministry of Canada responsible for indigenous policies and issues. Includes information on Aboriginal Communities, Reconciliation, Residential Schools and other topics.

Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) Database
A Canadian commission in the mid-1990s to investigate issues affecting indigenous Canadians. This database includes over 600 documents, including transcripts of public hearings and consultations, research studies, and reports.

Statistics Canada
The main source for Canadian statistical information. Statistics on Aboriginal Peoples includes information on population, education, business, health, justice, language, culture, and more. Browse by subtopic or check out the Featured Products and reports.

Selected Internet sources

In addition to the library catalogue and databases, you will find a lot of good information on the web. Governments, research institutes, non-profit organizations, industry and other associations and companies all have web sites - many with publications freely available. Check the library's Internet Research guide for additional help in finding and evaluating web sites.

Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN)
A Canadian broadcast TV network by and for indigenous people. Their programming includes news, documentaries, sports, kids programming, and entertainment, some of which can be streamed online.

Assembly of First Nations
An indigenous-led national advocacy organization that represents the interests of indigenous Canadians.

British Columbia Assembly of First Nations
An indigenous-led organization that represents and advocates for the 203 First Nations in BC.

Getting Started in Oral Traditions Research
A guide to oral traditions research from Elisa Hart, a researcher in the Northwest Territories.

Indigenous Foundations
An information resource on the history, culture, and politics of indigenous people of Canada, developed by the First Nations and Indigenous Studies department at the University of British Columbia.

iPortal: Indigenous Studies Portal Research Tool
An online full-text database of books, articles, photographs, maps, and archival resources focused on the indigenous people of Canada.

Legacy of Hope
An indigenous-led organization that educates and raises awareness of residential schools in Canada. The site includes online photo galleries and educational resources.

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
The permanent home for the statements, documents, and other material of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. It also includes other records, information, and resources related to education, reconciliation, and dialogue.

Native Issues in the CBC Digital Archives
A collection of video and film clips from the CBC Archives related to indigenous topics. Try searching or browsing the archive for other resources.

Reconciliation Canada
An indigenous-led organization that promotes dialogue and reconciliation between indigenous people and all Canadians.

Resonating Reconciliation
A project produced by the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCCRA) in which community radio stations across Canada produced 30 min documentaries on the legacy of residential schools in their communities. The documentaries are available streaming online.

SFU Library Indigenous Collections
Indigenous digital collections hosted by SFU Library, including photographs, artwork, research and policy documents, newspaper articles, and more.

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC)
An indigenous-led organization dedicated to advocating for recognition and implementation of indigenous rights. The website includes a historical timeline, and online collections of documents, photographs, and multimedia.

Xwi7xwa Library Research Guides
The Xwi7xwa Library at the University of British Columbia has created detailed indigenous research guides, on topics such as aboriginal languages, mapping, education, health, art, forestry, residential schools, and more. Note: SFU students are welcome to visit the Xwi7xwa Library and borrow materials - visit an SFU Library branch first to be issued a COPPUL card.

Subject Research guides are produced by SFU liaison librarians to point you to the best external sources as well as providing information about publications available in the library. Try these guides for further suggestions.

Ask us!

If you would like any further assistance or information about the library or your research, don't hesitate to Ask a Librarian.