Indigenous History Month

Your library is thrilled to be collaborating with Natoysopoyiis to bring you resources to celebrate Indigenous History Month. It's a great time to explore the history, languages, cultures and stories of First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples in Canada. Pop into the library to see our displays. Learn how to greet people in the traditional languages of the First Nations of Treaty 7 and the Métis Nation. Take a look at our curated booklist and check out one of our books by Indigenous authors:

Book cover for Half Breed by Maria Campbell with a photograph of the author in black and white.Halfbreed


Book cover for plants of Haida Gwaii. Plants of Haida Gwaii

 

Book cover for reclaiming two spiritsReclaiming Two-Spirits

Reclaiming Two-Spirits decolonizes the history of gender and sexuality in Native North America. It honors the generations of Indigenous people who had the foresight to take essential aspects of their cultural life and spiritual beliefs underground in order to save them. Before 1492, hundreds of Indigenous communities across North America included people who identified as neither male nor female, but both. They went by aakíí’skassi, miati, okitcitakwe or one of hundreds of other tribally specific identities. After European colonizers invaded Indian Country, centuries of violence and systematic persecution followed, imperiling the existence of people who today call themselves Two-Spirits, an umbrella term denoting feminine and masculine qualities in one person.

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Book cover for in my own mocassinsIn My Own Mocassins

Helen Knott, a highly accomplished Indigenous woman, seems to have it all. But in her memoir, she offers a different perspective. In My Own Moccasins is an unflinching account of addiction, intergenerational trauma, and the wounds brought on by sexual violence. It is also the story of sisterhood, the power of ceremony, the love of family, and the possibility of redemption.
With gripping moments of withdrawal, times of spiritual awareness, and historical insights going back to the signing of Treaty 8 by her great-great grandfather, Chief Bigfoot, her journey exposes the legacy of colonialism, while reclaiming her spirit.

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Book cover for laughing with the trickster with an illustration of a blackbird on the front.Laughing With the Trickster

Trickster is zany, ridiculous. The ultimate, over-the-top, madcap fool. Here to remind us that the reason for existence is to have a blast and to laugh ourselves silly. Celebrated author and playwright Tomson Highway brings his signature irreverence to an exploration of five themes central to the human condition: language, creation, sex and gender, humour, and death. A comparative analysis of Christian, classical, and Cree mythologies reveals their contributions to Western thought, life, and culture—and how North American Indigenous mythologies provide unique, timeless solutions to our modern problems. Highway also offers generous personal anecdotes, including accounts of his beloved accordion-playing, caribou-hunting father, and plentiful Trickster stories as curatives for the all-out unhappiness caused by today’s patriarchal, colonial systems. Laugh with the legendary Tomson Highway as he illuminates a healing, hilarious way forward.

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Book cover for stenistolw with an illustratoin of a canoe moving forwards.S'tenistolw

S’TENISTOLW is a SENĆOŦEN term referencing the concept of ‘moving forward’. This book highlights both the doing and being of Indigenous education. Authors share their knowledge on the themes of the most recent S’TENISTOLW conference: Land-Based Learning; Supporting Learners; Indigenization; and Strengthening Alliances. Keynote addresses by renowned Indigenous scholars Gregory Cajete, Graham Hingangaroa Smith, Linda Tuhiwai Smith and Kathy Absolon are intertwined throughout the book.

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Book cover for Truth telling. Truth Telling

From racism, broken treaties, and cultural pillaging, to the value of Indigenous lives and the importance of Indigenous literature, this collection reveals facts about Indigenous life in Canada that are both devastating and enlightening. Truth Telling also demonstrates the myths underlying Canadian history and the human cost of colonialism, showing how it continues to underpin modern social institutions in Canada. Passionate and uncompromising, Michelle Good affirms that meaningful and substantive reconciliation hinges on recognition of Indigenous self-determination, the return of lands, and a just redistribution of the wealth that has been taken from those lands without regard for Indigenous peoples. Truth Telling is essential reading for those looking to acknowledge the past and understand the way forward.

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Book cover for metis rising with a canoe onm the frontMetis Rising: Living our Present through the Power of our Past


 

Book cover for kaandossiwan.Kaandossiwin

Book cover for Becoming a matriarch, with an illustration of an indigenous woman on the front.Becoming a Matriarch

 

Updates 

🎉 Indigenous Peoples Day, Friday, June 21, Noon-1pm

Join us, at the front of the library, for a celebration of Indigenous culture. Everyone is welcome!

 📚 Treaty 7 Language Books

images of the book covers of 3 of CPL's Treaty 7 language books.

On display throughout Indigenous History Month, is a collection of Treaty 7 language books. These are stories created by Indigenous authors as part of a recent Calgary Public Library project to introduce new learning resources in the traditional languages of the Calgary area. These include the language of the Blackfoot Confederacy, the Îethka (Stoney) language and Tsuut'ina, all endangered languages, now undergoing committed efforts at revitalization.

😎 Staff Changes

Congratulations to our temporary Library Manager, Hilary Wallis, who has just had an adorable baby girl 👶. Hilary will be returning to her role as Librarian in 2025. Starting June 2024, we welcome Sophia Li, our new temporary Assessment and Instruction Librarian and liaison to the MacPhail School of Energy.

🌈 Pride Month

June is Pride Month, and it's a great time to celebrate the uniqueness, awesomeness, resilience and contributions of 2SLGBTQI+ communities and individuals throughout Canada and the World!

Check out some of our new books to celebrate!

New in the Archives: Indigenous Records Reference Tool

Our Archivist, Karly Sawatzky, has created a new Indigenous Records Reference Tool to guide users directly to Indigenous material in our archive collections. Jenny McDougall, practicum student from SAIT's Library and Information Technology Program, assisted Karly with this project by expanding access to The Emery Weal, SAIT’s student newspaper.  The Weal is the oldest and longest running collection, providing a unique glimpse into the historical student experience. It’s also one of the least accessible collections, and Jenny spent many hours flipping through print material to complete this work. Currently, you can access the article titles and brief descriptions of 231 articles within the Emery Weal in the Indigenous Records Reference Tool, but more collections will be added as time and resources permit. 

Karly’s aim for this project is to increase visibility and access to SAIT’s archival material about the Indigenous student experience over SAIT's 108-year institutional history. If you have any questions about this project, or the SAIT Archives, please contact Karly at Karly.sawatzky@sait.ca

View the Indigenous Records Reference Tool
a view of the moutains and stream in between

Oki, Âba wathtech, Danit'ada, Tawnshi, Hello.

SAIT is located on the traditional territories of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot) and the people of Treaty 7 which includes the Siksika, the Piikani, the Kainai, the Tsuut’ina and the Îyârhe Nakoda of Bearspaw, Chiniki and Goodstoney.

We are situated in an area the Blackfoot tribes traditionally called Moh’kinsstis, where the Bow River meets the Elbow River. We now call it the city of Calgary, which is also home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.