JUN 22

Works in Progress Webinar: Dynamics of change—continuing the conversation on library naming, finding, and relationship-building with Indigenous peoples

Participants will learn about how the University of Toronto Libraries is reckoning with both cultural change and the development of culturally appropriate metadata on a system-wide scale.

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Slides - Download pptx
Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations, Canadian Federation of Library Associations - Fédération Canadienne des Associations de Bibliothèques
University of Toronto Land Acknowledgement
First Nations, Metis and Inuit Indigenous Ontologies (FNMIIO), National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance
Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis and Inuit Issues by Chelsea Vowel
Indigenous Canada, University of Alberta MOOC
Native Land
The Cataloging Lab
Continuing Education blog


May Chan, Head of Metadata Services, University of Toronto Libraries
Oy Lein Jace Harrison, Library Graduate Intern, University of Toronto Libraries
Jamie Lee Morin, Library Graduate Intern, University of Toronto Libraries
Desmond Wong, Outreach Librarian, University of Toronto Libraries


The work towards culturally appropriate resource description of Indigenous communities continues to pose challenges for library metadata. Cultural heritage institutions are increasing their understanding of Indigenous issues and our responsibilities as institutions on Indigenous Lands. In Canada, this has been spurred by successive inquiries into glaring contemporary issues faced by Indigenous people, such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. With the findings of these Inquiries and Commissions in mind, this webinar will explore how libraries are working towards better metadata of Indigenous materials. It will also operate on the understanding that these issues are systemic, and thus extend beyond metadata practices. To that end, it will also interrogate how libraries are responding to total staff development on Indigenous cultural competency and relationship-building with Indigenous patrons and Nations.

Panelists will discuss two projects undertaken by the University of Toronto Libraries. The first is an environmental scan of Canadian libraries on metadata and professional development initiatives. The second project is a toolkit focused on gathering resources for staff to better understand the contexts and the importance of Indigenous issues pertaining to library work.

Findings from the scan have shown that libraries are collaborating with other institutions to make metadata for Indigenous materials more culturally sensitive and accurate, but this work has been a patchwork, and contextually determinant at a local level. The toolkit aims, in the interim, to assist in the development of Indigenous Cultural Competency for non-Indigenous audiences, to handle Indigenous materials better. As these projects come to a close, our team is now strategizing how to operationalize solutions to the systemic issues discovered in the scan. How might we use our projects to improve metadata work, towards a more holistic and consultative approach? How will the library ensure continual accountability concerning Indigenous initiatives? This webinar seeks to continue the conversation started by the many Indigenous library professionals, and those who have worked in solidarity, upon whose shoulders we stand. 

This webinar is intended for everyone and will be of interest to library professionals who seek to create more culturally appropriate descriptions for Indigenous materials, Indigenous cultural competency resources, and an overview of Indigenous initiatives in libraries across Canada. 

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series

These webinars are exclusively for OCLC Research Library Partners, but the recordings are publicly available to all.

Works in Progress: An OCLC Research Occasional Webinar Series to talk about work happening in OCLC Research – we'd like to present our work informally and get feedback from you, our Partners. We'd also like this to be a venue for Partner institutions. What are you working on that everyone should know about? What input would help you move forward? Let us know!


22 June 2020


12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Eastern Daylight Time, North America [UTC -4]

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Online via WebEx