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Take note librarians everywhere – community engagement and library spaces

Here is a perfect example of community engagement in library space creation – from the Forest County Potawatomi Cultural Center, Library and Museum. They have generously shared a video documenting the creation of this incredible mural. The video is 19 minutes long, and worth every minute. A description of the project and the story told through the mural panels is also provided. What a meaningful and beautiful accomplishment – by all involved. Wow!

Another graphic novel!!

The Gabriel Dumont Institute has published a graphic novel featuring Metis stories. For more information and to purchase a copy for your library, visit Stories of Our People.

Online Cree Dictionary

I just wanted to share the link to the Online Cree Dictionary. If your library is involved in supporting the preservation and revitalization of Aboriginal languages, please consider linking to this resource. If not, how about starting today?

Mary Weasel Fat on libraries and librarianship in Alberta

The April 2009 e-newletter of TAL (The Alberta Library) includes an interview conducted with Mary Weasel Fat, Library Coordinator with Red Crow Community College Library. She shares her thoughts on librarianship in Alberta, her engagement in the profession and some of the challenging and rewarding aspects of the work. More information about the RCCC Library’s involvement in TAL is provided in Blood Tribe Administration Review.

The Alberta Advantage and Libraries

Well, the Alberta government has stepped up to the plate for libraries with a 39% increase in funding for Alberta public libraries. I hope that a significant percentage of funds is earmarked for Recommendation 13 of the MLA Committee on the Future of Public Library Services, which states:

Recommendation 13
Hold formal meetings with the federal government and First Nations and Metis settlements so they can be included in the vision of seamless access to public library services.

Accept. Municipal Affairs (working with Aboriginal Relations) will initiate discussion between First Nations and Metis stakeholders and the federal government on Aboriginal library services. 

I’ve always said that 13 is a good number (ah, I was born on the 13th)!

I’m interested to find out what role the province is willing to assume, with or without federal participation. If you’ve read Brendan Edwards’ Paper Talk, you would clearly see how Indian and Northern Affairs has skirted and/or denied support for First Nations run libraries. Is the province willing to provide financial support to First Nations (on-reserve) and Metis (within the settlements) to establish and sustain public libraries?

Some Canadian public library Aboriginal services updates

It seems that I have no time to blog since returning to work from maternity leave. Our organization isn’t core funded, so I’m busy with proposal writing, planning, and budget development. I come home and want to spend time with our 15-month old son, and before I know it, it is time for bed!

When I catch a spare moment, I take steps to remain current on where things are at regarding Aboriginal librarianship in Canada and/or librarianship for Aboriginal peoples in Canada. I’ve recently found the following items that identify some of the activities going on in urban, public libraries. Here they are:

Thanks go out to these libraries for sharing this information. It can be challenging to find out what libraries are doing (if you don’t ask each of them directly). Reporting on these activities and making this information publicly accessible is an important part of the process. These reports provide guidance to others, contribute to the generation of new ideas, and provide necessary information for analyzing trends in this area of librarianship.

If your library has a similar summary to share, please let me know and I’d be happy to add it to the list. As Kokum Mary from Wapos Bay might say, “Inquiring minds want to know, you know”. By the way, season 2 of Wapos Bay is now available for purchase. I highly recommend this program for all public libraries in Canada. It is an absolute gem.

UNESCO launches Memory of the World online survey

16-02-2009 (Paris)
A general survey on the state of awareness of the Memory of the World Programme has been launched in cooperation with InterPARES in Vancouver, Canada. This survey is intended for library, archives and museum specialists as well as anyone with an interest in preserving documentary heritage. The purpose of this survey is to increase and assess awareness of the Programme and to encourage nominations to the Memory of the World Registers. UNESCO will use the results to further develop the Memory of the World Programme. 

The Memory of the World Programme was created by UNESCO to promote preservation of, and disseminate information regarding, documentary heritage found in archival holdings and library and museum collections worldwide. The Programme includes national/regional committees, which help to initiate and support nominations within their respective regions.

Its Registers list documentary heritage of recognized world significance assessed on the basis of specific criteria outlined in the UNESCO Memory of the World General Guidelines to Safeguard Documentary Heritage.

The form, which takes just a few minutes to complete, can be filled in online, in English or French: please click here.

It can also be downloaded as a word document from this page to be filled in and returned to: j.springer@unesco.org

The deadline for the survey is 30 April 2009.

For more information, please visit the:

Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT)

Just a note to let you know that the Native American Public Telecommunications (NAPT) has launched a new website. If you are not familiar with the NAPT, they “share Native stories with the world through support of the creation, promotion and distribution of Native media”.  You can subscribe to their RSS feed or email newsletter, visit their blogs or discussion forum, and become a fan of their Facebook page or MySpace pageIf you’re looking for some good resources for your library collection, be sure to check out VisionMaker Video, a service of the NAPT.

Aboriginal Film Festivals – Put up an announcement at your library today!

For some strange reason I’ve been thinking a lot about spring, summer and fall lately! It must be the freezing cold weather here in Winnipeg! Anyhow, when I think about the seasons without snow I am reminded of all of the great entertainment. There are the folk festivals, concerts, heritage events, outdoor plays and much, much more. Did I forget to mention the Aboriginal film festivals?! No way! Now those provide GREAT entertainment.

Though many of these festivals are yet months away, I thought I’d compile and share a list of them on my blog…just in case you want to start saving your money to attend one of them or to create an announcement to post at your library.  If I’ve missed one, please let me know.



United States

Endangered Language Fund

The Endangered Language Fund

“was founded ten years ago with the goal of supporting endangered language preservation and documentation projects. Our main mechanism for supporting work on endangered languages has been funding grants to individuals, tribes, and museums. ELF’s 97 grants have promoted work in over 30 countries and have seen a wide range of projects, from the development indigenous radio programs in South Dakota, to recording of the last living oral historian of the Shor language of western Siberia, to the establishment of orthographies and literacy materials to be used by endangered language teaching programs all over the world.” (text taken directly from the website) 

I stumbled on this site while doing one thing that I love…surfing!! Anyhow, not only do they have a 2009 Call for Proposals, they also have a nice list of resources on Indigenous language revitalization and a language archive.