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Indigenous research guide

A starting point for finding resources within and outside RRU Library on Indigenous ways of knowing and being.

Be mindful: A note on Indigenous intellectual property

Be mindful when using information collected from Indigenous Peoples. While current research practices regarding Indigenous Peoples are improving in Canada, historic works seldom respect Indigenous Intellectual Property. APA citation cautions researchers to evaluate published works to ensure that information is both accurate and appropriate to use prior to citing. Indigenous Knowledge comes with a variety of Cultural Protocols which may limit who can share information, when it can be shared, and with whom it may be shared. Because cross-cultural information exchanges increase the likely hood of misrepresentation, it is vital to confirm that your work upholds the integrity of Indigenous perspectives. (From Indigenous Studies, Kwantlen Polytechnic University, 2021)


Indigenous authors and organizations

Finding Indigenous authors

It can be difficult to identify indigenous authors, but here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Search Google Scholar for a keyword or two on your topic, plus different ways to describe indigenous authors. For example:
    • education ("metis authors" OR "inuit authors" OR "First Nations authors" OR "Indigenous authors")
    • environment ("metis authors" OR "inuit authors" OR "First Nations authors" OR "Indigenous authors")
  • Try a similar search in Discovery (main search tool on the library homepage) and use the "Author" filter on the left side of your results to identify names for further exploration.
  • Search a library that has been able to do work to make searching for indigenous authors easier. UBC is a good example. Cross check names or book titles you find there against the RRU collection.
  • When you find a name that matches your topic area, search the name in Google to see if you can find a bibliography of all their work.

Indigenous organizations

Some Indigenous organizations publish their own research, some of which is openly available for the public. You can start a search for that here.

Indigenous Studies Portal (by University of Saskatchewan)

"The I-Portal: Indigenous Studies Portal was launched in 2006 at the University of Saskatchewan as a tool for faculty, students, researchers, and members of the community to access digital Indigenous studies resources. Its primary focus is on Indigenous peoples of Canada with a secondary focus on Indigenous peoples of the United States, Australia, Aotearoa – New Zealand, and other areas of the world.

"The I-Portal contains full-text electronic resources including articles, e-books, theses, government publications, videos, oral histories, reports, and digitized archival documents and photographs. As of 2022, the I-Portal had over 71,000 records and new content is added on a continuing basis."

This is a great curated collection of Indigenous resources. Most of the materials you will find are open-access, but if you find something through the I-Portal that you cannot access, please contact RRU Library and we'll be happy to assist!

Finding articles

Searching in library resources

Discovery is the main search box on our webpage. Use it to search across the majority of the RRU Library's collection to find articles, books, videos, media reports and more.

Google Scholar @ RRU is available from the 'Find' link on the library homepage as well as from the round 'Google Scholar' button below and to the right of the main search box on our homepage. The advantage to accessing Google Scholar through the library homepage is that you log in as an RRU student and are then given links (on the right of your results) to the articles from your results list that are held in our collection.

Starter search strategies for Discovery and Google Scholar @ RRU to find resources on Indigenous perspectives on research methods or your topic:

("first nations" OR aboriginal OR indigenous OR metis) AND "research method"  (replace "research method" with your chosen method, for example 'appreciative inquiry')

("first nations" OR aboriginal OR indigenous OR metis) AND your topic (replace "your topic" with keywords and synonyms for your topic concepts)

*Capitalize the OR search operator, AND search operator and use double quotes for phrases.
*Click here for a list of keywords to help you brainstorm keywords for your search (from Xwi7xwa Library, UBC).

"Cited by" search in Google Scholar

Indigenous researchers and authors often cite other Indigenous researchers. You can use Google Scholar to search the material that cited an article you know is authored by an indigenous author. To do this:

  1. Open Google Scholar from the RRU Library homepage search the title you want to 'mine' for citations.
  2. Select "Cited by"
  3. Check the box "Search within citing articles" and do a keyword search relevant to your topic.
  4. Look for author biographies or authors that self-identify as Indigenous within articles.