Indigenous Archives & Record Keeping

The purpose of this page is to present a selection of resources to support Indigenous organizations, cultural memory-keepers, and Archivists who find themselves working with community records and to further the care, access, and preservation of heritage materials within Indigenous communities. Content will be updated as new best practices are shared and publications are made available on the topics below. Further resources on archival theory and best practices can be found in other sections of thAABC Archivist's Toolkit.

UNDRIP and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce

United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)

Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada

National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation (University of Manitoba) 

Association of Canadian Archivists Truth and Reconciliation

Steering Committee on Canada's Archives: Response to the Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Taskforce (TRC-TF)

Canadian Council of Archives

Description, Name Authorities and Subject Indexing

Library and Archives Canada Guidelines for writing titles for descriptions of Indigenous-related archival materials

UBC X̱wi7x̱wa Library: Indigenous Knowledge OrganizationNames for BC First Nations in BCIndigenous Librarianship

Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC) Resource Centre Classification Plan (July 2015)

University of Manitoba Indigenous Knowledge Management: Indigenous Subject Headings - AMA LCSH 

Red River College Indigenous Subject Headings Modification Project (Winnipeg, May 4, 2020)

National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA)

Modifications to the Library of Congress Subject Headings for Use by Manitoba Archives (2016)

Greater Victoria Public Library Indigenous Subject Heading List (interim) 

Local Contexts 'Traditional Knowledge Licenses'

Privacy Legislation and Indigenous Records

The Impacts of Bill C-58 on First Nations’ Access to Information: A Discussion Paper Following the Review of Bill C-58 by the Senate Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs National Claims Research Directors and Union of BC Indian Chiefs (March 2019) 

Molly Torsen and Jane Anderson, "Intellectual Property and the Safeguarding of Traditional Cultures: Legal Issues and Practical Options for Museums, Libraries and Archives"(WIPO, 2012),  

Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Traditional Cultural Expressions (WIPO, 2020) 

Enrich Hub which is international in scope, resources on preventing appropriation of Indigenous ceremony, practices, and knowledge by Western scholars or students. 

Digitization and Preservation of Indigenous Records

UBC Indigitization ProjectIndigitization Toolkit

Canadian Conservation Institute (CCI) Notes Indigenous Materials N6/1 – N6/9

First Peoples Cultural Council Digitization Grants

Software and Digital Heritage

  • Cedar Box (referrals/managing consultation, heritage, fieldwork, GIS, governance)
  • Community Knowledge Keeper (referrals/managing consultation, heritage, fieldwork, GIS. Also provides a comprehensive digital community archive for documents, photographs, audio and video files)
  • Trailmark (referrals/managing consultation, heritage, fieldwork, GIS) 
  • FirstVoices (via First Peoples Cultural Council, focus on Indigenous language archiving)

Publications and Presentations

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The Archives Association of British Columbia acknowledges that it carries out its work on the land of Indigenous nations throughout British Columbia. We are grateful for the continuing relationships with Indigenous people in B.C. that develop through our work together.  

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