School of Library and Information Studies

Indigenous Activities

Within the SLIS Community

This page begins to evidence the School’s concrete commitments to reconciliation with Indigenous communities and the School’s commitment to Indigenous students on and off campus. This does not capture the complete reach of activities, as new efforts are being initiated on a positive trajectory. Thanks to SLIS alumna Kayla Lar-Son (MLIS 2018) for assistance documenting Indigenous activities at SLIS. The SLIS community is engaged in diverse activities, including, but not limited to, those listed below.

  • Vision, Mission and Values
  • Strategic directions
  • Human resources
  • Indigenous content collaborations with other Faculties and Universities
  • Faculty research and scholarship, as well as other collaborations
  • Representation of faculty, students and sessionals on the CFLA Indigenous Matters Committee
  • MLIS curriculum review
  • MLIS course content, including a pilot course, LIS 598 Indigenous Contexts for Library and Information Studies in Canada, first offered in Fall 2018
  • LIS 590 Practicum
  • Indigenous Internships for MLIS students funded by U of A Libraries
  • Truth and Reconciliation activities
  • Indigenous student-led initiatives and presentations
  • Indigenous Interns earning prestigious awards
  • Publications on and by Indigenous Interns and Indigenous students
  • Indigenous Interns joint conference presentations in Alberta and beyond
  • Student Indigenous initiatives, including through the work of the the Library and Information Studies Students’ Association (LISSA). For example, the LISSA Land Acknowledgment for SLIS students carried at the March 2019 LISSA AGM

Identified Areas for Possible Next Steps

Listed below are a sample of already identified areas where SLIS can improve Indigenous initiatives and/or where new initiatives can be created.

  • Build meaningfully on Orange Shirt Day activity
  • Enhancing attention to and application of Indigenous methodologies
  • Taking guidance from the University’s exploration of best practices for elder compensation
  • Further extending invitations to Indigenous guest speakers, including Indigenous librarians
  • Further extending invitations to allied guest speakers
  • Finding new ways of acknowledging students (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) for their many unpaid contributions to the SLIS community
  • Strategies for intercultural connections with our online Indigenous students
  • Actively recruiting students, sessionals and faculty to guest lecture in courses beyond the School level on critical topics with key content (e.g. intellectual property, knowledge, archives and human rights, expressive freedoms, stewardship of cultural resources, etc.)
  • Embedding a professional liaison into the LIS 590 Practicum matrix (alongside the course instructor and site supervisor) where an information professional is not available on site
  • Addressing how SLIS can aid in Indigenous LIS professionals’ job retention after graduation from the MLIS program
  • Pursue opportunities for students to co-create artwork with Indigenous artists specifically designed for SLIS on Treaty 6
  • Working with an elder to develop a cultural training session outside coursework
  • Taking up guidance offered in the CAUT Policy Statement on Indigenizing the Academy