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Indigenization

Mount Royal Library commits to advance the University’s Indigenous Strategic Plan goals and support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action by establishing a strong position on campus and the greater community as a place where Indigenous ways of knowing are given prominence next to other mediums available to students and our community of learners.

We actively and intentionally foster Indigenous student learning while facilitating access for the community to engage in big questions and conversations around Indigenous concerns and issues.

In the Riddell Library and Learning Centre

With the opening of the Riddell Library and Learning Centre, the Library is thrilled to be able to add to campus and community learning spaces that are open and welcoming to members of the Indigenous community.  

The Riddell Library and Learning Centre is the first campus building to include Blackfoot signage recognizing that Mount Royal University is situated in an ancient and storied place within the hereditary lands of the Niitsitapi (Blackfoot), Iyarhe Nakoda, Tsuut’ina and Métis Nations.

Initiatives

Blackfoot in the Library

Mount Royal Library believes in the importance of creating a welcoming space. We will continue to expand our collections by holding space for knowledge to broaden and resonate with the MRU Community and beyond. This includes specific initiatives that not only encourage the use of the Blackfoot language but also signals to patrons that this is a safe space to be curious and engage with new knowledge.    

DeciphAR is an augmented reality app that came from a collaboration with Red Crow Community College. As of October 2019, the MRU community and the general public can download DeciphAR and access English translations of Blackfoot signage in the Riddell Library and Learning Centre. Since the app features Elder Leo Fox, users will also be guided on the correct pronunciations of the Blackfoot terms. The goal is to highlight the importance the Library places on Indigenous knowledge and to reduce barriers for Library users and guests to interact and use the Blackfoot language.

Learn the Blackfoot terms for the faculties and departments located in the Riddell Library and Learning Centre

We extend deep thanks to Mary Weaselfat and Leo Fox for their assistance with these translations.     

Preserve Indigenous History

Librarian Jessie Loyer pictured with one of the two digitization kits

Indigitization is a collaborative initiative that facilitates a process for Indigenous communities to conserve, digitize, and manage knowledge. Archives and Special Collections now has two digitization kits that have been purchased with the intent of reducing barriers for Indigenous communities to archive and retain ownership of recordings. The kits allow for cassette tapes to be digitized locally, giving communities the ability to set parameters around the decision to make records public and set access guidelines. 

Along with loaning out the digitization kits, MRU Library has been involved with training sessions, led by UBC Indigitization, that provide information and instruction on how to use the kits in an effort to support the goals of individual communities. 

To learn more about the kits, please contact Archives and Special Collections.

Amplify Indigenous Perspectives

This is the place to have top-of-mind conversations and ask questions. We are proud to open our specialized spaces to on-campus partners, community events, and special guests. The Library has hosted Indigenous thought leaders and aspires to maintain this platform.

Sandra Littletree, PhDSandra Littletree
University of Washington 

The Librarian, educator, and Indigenous scholar gave a thought-provoking talk called Honouring Relationality: Centering Indigenous Perspectives in Library Services. Students, faculty, staff, and the general public were invited to the public lecture that challenged attendees to reflect on personal perspectives and experiences with Indigenous systems of knowledge and examine information services, public services, collections, and teaching from Indigenous perspectives.