Skip to main content

Indigenous Knowing: Welcome

Indigenous Knowing resources at the Camosun Library

Welcome to the Camosun College Library Indigenous Knowing Guide. This guide is for members of the Camosun and greater community seeking resources by Indigenous authors or information related to Indigenous topics. 

About this guide

This research guide presents a curated selection of key print and electronic books related to Indigenous Knowledge held at the Camosun Library. Works are organized by discipline and theme (though many are cross- or interdisciplinary) and focus on Indigenous Knowledge from local, national, and international contexts. For instructors seeking to Indigenize their curriculum, these resources represent a starting point for investigating various forms of knowledge from the perspectives of Indigenous Peoples and their colleagues. 

This guide is a work in progress and will be added to and expanded. If you have suggestions for Indigenous Knowledge books that are not yet part of our collection, please let us know by emailing your ideas to library@camosun.ca.

For additional resources available through the Camosun Library, visit the Indigenous Studies Guide.

Territorial Acknowledgment

Photograph of Bukwila

Photograph of Bukʷi·la· by Nuu-chah-nulth artist Art Thompson (Tsa Qwa Supp), 1997.


We seek knowledge in these territories

Camosun College is located in beautiful Victoria, British Columbia with campuses on the Traditional Territories of the Lekwungen and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples. We acknowledge their welcome and graciousness to the students who seek knowledge here.


Learn more about the name "Camosun" by reading the Legend of Camossung, as shared by Cheryl Bryce, Songhees Nation.

Introduction to Indigenous Knowledge – Books & e-books

The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America.

Thomas King, 2017
Call Number: E 77 K566 2017​

The Inconvenient Indian is personal – an expression of “a conversation King has been having with himself and others for most of his adult life” about what it means to be an Indian. King debunks the role given to Indigenous Peoples in contemporary history.

Book cover image of

My Conversations with Canadians

Lee Maracle, 2017
E-book and in print: PR 9199.3 M3497 A6 2017

In prose essays that are both conversational and direct, Maracle touches upon subjects such as citizenship, segregation, labour, law, prejudice and reconciliation through a multitude of experiences she's had as a First Nations leader, a woman, a mother, and grandmother over the course of her life.

Indigenous Relations: Insights, Tips & Suggestions to Make Reconciliation a Reality

Bob Joseph & Cynthia F. Joseph, 2019
Call Number: E 78 C2 J67 2019 

The eagerly awaited sequel to the bestselling "21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act," a guide to business and intercultural communications by the CEO of Indigenous Corporate Training, a leading cultural sensitivity training program.

Working with Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Systems: A Reader and Guide for Places of Higher Learning

Herman Michell, 2011
Call number: E 96.2 M53 2011 

​By exploring key Indigenous concepts, (definitions of Indigenous identity in Canada, Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous knowledge, Indigenous worldviews, etc.), Michell hopes to build cross-cultural bridges. This book is a must-read for anyone wishing to obtain an understanding of what underlies Indigenous ways of perceiving.

Roots of Entanglement: Essays in the History of Native-Newcomer Relations

Myra Rutherdale, Kerry Abel, & Whitney P. Lackenbauer, 2018
​E-book and in print: E 78 C2 R66 2018

Roots of Entanglement offers an historical exploration of the relationships between Indigenous Peoples and European newcomers in the territory that would become Canada.

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples

Bob Joseph & Cynthia F. Joseph, 2017
Call Number: E 78 C2 J75 2017

Written to support people in their Indigenous relations endeavors. Sift through rhetoric to find creative solutions to workplace challenges, become familiar with terminology and interpersonal communications by learning what to say and what not to say to be respectful, and explore individual and organizational strategies to work respectfully and effectively with Indigenous Peoples.

Where to find books & e-books

To search for books and e-books by Indigenous authors or Indigenous topics use the following tools:


Single Search tool

A tool that searches the Camosun catalogue and majority of Camosun databases. Use the "advanced search" function to increase the complexity of your keyword search or to limit your results to print and electronic books. 

Search Camosun's Single Search


​Catalogue search

Search the holdings of the Camosun Library (excludes some e-book and streaming media collections). 

 

désLibris collection

The désLibris Canadian Electronic Library provides content from Canada's scholarly and independent publishers. It features a variety of e-books by Indigenous authors and information on Indigenous topics.

désLibris collection content from is not always represented using the library's Single Search tool. Access the désLibris collection using the link below to search for the latest holdings in this collection of Canadian e-resources.

Books by Mail

Camosun Books by Mail logoCamosun Library is pleased to provide Books By Mail service for students and employees for the summer of 2020.

Get started by using the Books by Mail form.

Decorative image of people gathered in Na'tsa'maht

Na'tsa'maht, located on the Camosun College Lansdowne campus, Lekwugen Territory.

Featured reference works

Politics of Naming

Like most post-secondary libraries, the Camosun Library uses international standards for classifying and describing information. The majority of the publications and databases for which it provides access also use these same standards. Libraries use subject headings as words to describe and organize things and ideas. When you search the library databases, your keywords are checked against and for related subject headings.

Library categorization systems influence the information we access and the ways we think about words and their meanings. Vocabularies and classification systems are designed to make information accessible to library users. However, many Western information categorization and organization systems are rooted in colonial practices, express Western world views, and uphold values of white supremacy. 

Who determines what subject headings are used is also very political. Much of the library and publishing world relies on the American Library of Congress system of cataloguing. The Library of Congress’s subject headings and vocabulary perpetuates many colonial ideas. Many of its terms are outdated, racist, or derogatory and have not been updated. This is especially true when referencing specific Indigenous communities or groups. Names that were created for Indigenous groups by cultural outsiders may still be in use. 

If you are searching for information on an Indigenous topic, you may need to search a number of terms – many of which may seem outdated or inappropriate – to find information. Two subject terms used frequently in our Library catalogue are "Native Peoples – Canada" and "Indians of North America". These are standard terms used in most academic libraries, even though they don't accurately reflect the current language used to describe Indigenous peoples in Canada today.

Below are some of the terms used to describe resources related to Indigenous topics:

  • Indigenous peoples
  • Native peoples
  • Indians of North America
  • Native American
  • Aboriginal
  • Metis
  • Inuit 
  • First Nations
  • American Indians

If you're looking for information on a specific people, search for that group: Haida, Salish, Metis, etc.

Be careful about alternate spellings: for example, Nisga or Niska or Nisga'a. Find the most resources by searching for all the different spellings together using "or": Niska OR Nisga OR Nisga'a