Indigenous Research: Language and literature

"The eagle flies the highest in the sky, and in a Coast Salish legend people would seek guidance from the eagle to gain knowledge of faraway places. This representational eagle wing relief was created to bring the knowledge to students as they seek guidance in their studies." By Marissa Nahanee - Maykw Cha7em Squamish & Nisga’a Nations, Eagle Clan.

If you need help, please contact Jenna Walsh, Indigenous Initiatives Librarian & Librarian for Indigenous Studies, Archaeology, Environmental Science, and Resource & Environmental Management at 778-782-9378 (voicemail) or jmwalsh@sfu.ca or Ask a librarian.

Resources in the Library

Browse in the Library Catalogue.

Journal articles

Use these indexes to locate journal articles on your topic:

Background information

Native American Literatures: An Encyclopedia of Works, Characters, Authors, and Themes [print]

Key websites

Language

Ethnologue: Languages of the World
Includes over 100 language maps, overviews of language by country, lists of references, a language name index, and a language family index with over 100 language family trees. Descriptions for each language include alternate names, number of speakers, location, dialects, linguistic affiliation, multilingualism of speakers, and other demographic and sociolinguistic information. Native languages for North America and elsewhere are covered extensively. Includes some extinct languages.

First Nations Languages of British Columbia (UBC)
Provides links to programs, products, and references concerned with the languages of the First Nations of British Columbia. Additional, selective links address Aboriginal languages of Canada and Aboriginal languages Education.

Literature

Indigenous Writing Since 1867: Once Neglected Now Celebrated
Videos of interviews with Indigenous writers compiled by Deanna Reder and Sophie McCall for a 2017 SFU course on Indigenous lifewriting

The People and the Text: Indigenous Writing to 1992
Collection and project focused on Indigenous literature, led by Dr. Deanna Reder, Chair of Indigenous Studies at SFU

Children's and Young Adult Books with Contemporary Native American Indian Themes
Annotated list of picture books, short stories, novels, and biographies for youth by or about First Nations people, put together by author Cynthia Leitich Smith. Entries include publication information, the nation of the writer or illustrator, a brief plot summary, and commentary on theme and characterization.

Finding Out About Native Canadian Women Writers Published in English (National Library of Canada)
A list of bibliographies, interviews, anthologies, and periodicals concerned with Native Canadian women writers. Includes a list of prominent writers and their preferred genres. Some links to electronic resources.

Native American Authors (Internet Public Library)
Extensive links to biographical information, bibliographies of published works, online resources, interviews, and articles concerned with North American native literature. Access by author, title, or tribe.

A Select Bibliography of Children's Books by and about Aboriginal Peoples for Ages 4-14
Put together by Karen Russell-Letourneau at INAC, this bibliography is divided into four main components: fiction, myths and legends for older children, non-fiction, and picture books. Each entry includes a colour image of the book's cover, basic bibliographic information (author, illustrator, title, publication information), and a recommended age level. Additional resources include language material and a bibliography of works organized by nation.