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Indigenous History, Resources & Pedagogy

A note about Indigenous subject headings

The library realizes that some of the subject headings from the Library of Congress Classification system, used to find materials in our catalogue, are problematic, outdated, and inappropriate terminology to refer to Indigenous peoples and topics. Please note that work is underway in libraries across Canada to change and update this terminology. This process is expected to take some time due to the millions of records impacted by this change. For more details about this issue, please see the Library and Archives Canada page on Canadian Subject Headings for Indigenous Peoples, and the SFU Indigenous Terminology Guide.

**UPDATE as of September 2023**

Progress has been made in terms of the Riel Rebellion subject heading.  Library of Congress has changed Riel Rebellion to Northwest ResistanceCanada1885!  Our library will be working on changing to the new subject heading.  

Using keywords to search for information

The terms you use to find books and articles on Indigenous People will depend on the type of tool you're using, for example in OneSearch or a specific database.

When you're searching One Search for books or streaming videos, the library uses subject terms to classify books by topic. Below are the list of terms that are used for research focused on Indigenous peoples. For example, Native peoples, Indigenous peoples, Native, Inuit, Métis

When you're using OneSearch,  you can use keywords such as: Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Inuit, Métis, Native, First Peoples, Indian.

If you're using a particular database, like Academic Search Complete, you can start with known keywords, like the ones listed above for OneSearch, but once you get your results, take a look at the specific subject terms assigned to that article. The subject terms used in Academic Search Complete, for example, include: Native people, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Native Americans, Aboriginal Australians, Indigenous peoples, names of specific nations. 

Related guides

Indigenous Data Sovereignty