How can we enhance meaningful and respectful access for Canadians Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit) people to their own cultural heritage by addressing inherent cultural bias embedding in existing organizational structure and rectify inherently problematic language in current schematics to describe racial, gender, sexuality, and identity? How we use innovative technology to respectfully facilitate culturally appropriate access while allowing for preservation of knowledges? How can we develop Indigenous protocols around Indigenous knowledge that are community driven and provide legal protection for intangible and tangible cultural property that respect Indigenous sovereignty and provides for meaningful repatriation?
Recognizing the importance of respectful curation, preservation, access, and protection of Indigenous knowledges and cultural memory in libraries, museums, and archives, how can a meaningful relationship be developed with Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities?
Over the last decade, we have seen substantive movement as it relates to Indigenous people and Indigenous knowledge being held in mainstream archives, libraries, and cultural memory institutions. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Report and Calls to Action have prompted and provided the catalyst for change. We desire to create a community of practice around the sharing, teaching, and intergenerational transfer of knowledge and imbedding Indigenous epistemologies while honouring Indigenous voices and relationships by Indigenized cultural memory praxis.
As Indigenous cultural activists and allies, our responsibilities include exploring the relationally and interconnectedness of Indigenous knowledge while attempting to unsettle, disrupt, and sometimes dismantle existing frameworks and pedagogy to examine how to respectfully engage cultural memory professionals and academics working with Indigenous communities and their knowledge. The inclusion of Indigenous epistemology and methodologies into an ethical curriculum creating a synergistic model that integrates a multiplicity of ways of knowing, that can lay the groundwork and create a space for knowledge to be preserved and shared in its unbiased entirety, is crucial for meaningful change moving forward.
Camille Callison, Tsesk iye (Crow) Clan of the Tahltan Nation, was the first Indigenous Services Librarian/Liaison Librarian now the Learning & Organizational Development Librarian and a PhD student (Anthropology) at the University of Manitoba. Camille is Vice-Chair, Indigenous Representative, Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA-FCAB) & Chair, Indigenous Matters Committee, Copyright Committee member, chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Committee, an Indigenous Partner on The Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce, and is on the Advisory Committee for the First Nations Concentration at UBC iSchool. She is a member of IFLA Indigenous Matters Section Standing Committee and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO Memory of the World Committee and Sector Commission on Culture, Communications & Information. Camille has presented extensively on the importance of respectful curation, preservation, access, and protection of Indigenous knowledge and cultural memory in libraries, museums, and archives and developing meaningful relationship with Indigenous communities.
Stacy Allison-Cassin is an associate librarian in the Student Learning and Academic Success Department at York University Libraries, where she has a specialized focus on digital pedagogy. She has previously held the position of the W.P. Scott Chair in E-Librarianship as well as positions in digital humanities and metadata. Her research focuses on the intersections of digital structures, media, and critical theory and forthcoming work is analyzes the interrelationship between affect, digital networks, and the librarian body. With training in orchestral performance, Allison-Cassin frequently focuses on music and is currently completing a PhD in Humanities at York University. Her dissertation utilizes the information theory of Niklas Luhmann to analyze the music of Arcade Fire. As a citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario, Allison-Cassin also works on issues related to Indigeneity, libraries and digital culture, with a specific focus on knowledge organization and metadata. A passionate advocate for social justice and knowledge equity, Allison-Cassin is an active member of the Wikimedia and open access communities.
Michelle Lovegrove Thomson
Michelle Lovegrove Thomson is the Senior Manager of the TIFF Film Reference Library, where her focus is on public services, education, film preservation, and access to collections. She holds a Master of Information from the University of Toronto iSchool, a Master of Arts in English from the University of Alberta, and a BFA in Film Production from York University. She is an alumna of the Northern Exposure to Leadership Institute (NELI), currently sits on the OLA Special Libraries Council, and is the Special Libraries planner for OLA Super Conference 2019 and 2020.
Dolleen Tisawii'ashii Manning
Manning is a member of Kettle and Stoney Point First Nation, an interdisciplinary artist, scholar, educator and youngest of twelve. Currently, she resides in Toronto and is a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University (Philosophy, 2018-2020). She received a PhD from the Centre for the Study of Theory and Criticism at the University of Western Ontario (2018), and holds graduate degrees in critical theory (MA, UWO, 2005), and in contemporary art (MFA, Simon Fraser, 1997), and a BFA in Fine Arts (Windsor, 1994). Manning's interests in archives stems from her family's land claim activism and the function of the archive in the colonial state. She is also interested in the counter archive from the perspective of Anishinaabe epistemology and imaging practices.
Lisa Sloniowski has multiple roles at York University as a humanities librarian in the Scott Library, as a PhD candidate in Social and Political Thought, and as a faculty member in the Graduate Program in English. Her research examines the affective labour of librarians as knowledge and memory workers, from a feminist perspective. Her most current work explores the specific archival challenges posed by two special collections: the Barbara Godard library, and an archival collection of feminist pornography.
Claudia Sicondolfo is a Vanier Scholar and PhD Candidate in the Graduate Department of Film at York University. Her research projects address: film festivals, screen publics, youth and digital media cultures, decolonizing research methodologies and affect in the creative industries. Her doctoral research project examines educational and community outreach strategies within contemporary Canadian digital screen institutions and digital engagement in film festivals. Her research appears in Public Journal and Senses of Cinema, in addition to various book anthologies. Claudia has worked with educational communities across Canada and has published educational companion curriculum for documentaries.
Raegan serves as the Executive Director of The ArQuives, formerly known as the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. She holds a BA from Collège universitaire de Saint-Boniface and a Masters of Information from the University of Toronto iSchool. She has worked as an archivist at Library and Archives Canada, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, Aanischaaukamikw Cree Cultural Institute, and as the Archival Advisor for the Council of Archives New Brunswick. She is currently working on her PhD, focusing on the role of community archives in First Nations and Inuit communities. She is member of the Steering Committee on Canada’s Archives Taskforce to respond to the “Calls to Action” Report from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.