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Indigenous Resources - Background, Policy, Analysis: Welcome!

This guide is an introduction to some of the books, articles, and online resources available to you.

What's in this LibGuide

This LibGuide provides suggestions for:

  • locating resources in the Brandon University Library using the BU Library catalogue,
  • locating resources online using the BU Library catalogue, and
  • online resources from the internet.

There also may be Tabs for specific classes in the Department of Native Studies. These Tabs will not be permanent - they may contain information shared in Information Literacy classes hosted by the Library for the class noted. Anyone may access these tabs, but the information may only be relevant for that class.

Changes in the Federal Government/August 2017


On August 28, 2017, the Federal Government announced that the Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) will be split into 2 separate ministries:

Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs 

Indigenous Services

Access to the Indigenous and Northern Affairs site:

A note about the language used in this Library Guide

Throughout this guide, a variety of words are used to describe resources relating to courses taught at Brandon University in programs such as Education, Health Studies, Art, Languages, Sociology, Native Studies, and History. This includes materials written by, about, and for people of Indigenous, Aboriginal, Métis, Inuit and non-Aboriginal backgrounds and cultures.

The ongoing legal use of the word "Indian" by the Government of Canada (ie. The Indian Act) necessitates its inclusion in our guide, despite our awareness of any offense it may cause. Also, American and international resources tend to use the terms "Native American" or "American Indian" rather than Indigenous, Aboriginal, or First Nations. This is important to keep in mind when doing research, as word choice greatly impacts catalogue and database search results.

For information about terminology, please see:

In the Library

In November 2016, BU Library began a project to revise subject headings pertaining to Indigenous subjects. When you look at the subjects in a result on One Stop Search, for those items originating from the BU Library you will begin to see the subject "Indigenous Peoples" rather than "Indians of North America" in the Details section. This project is ongoing. The materials themselves still are available - only records and descriptions are being revised.

What does this mean for your research? Over time, you will see more results for searches that contain the term indigenous, such as

indigenous history

indigenous women statistics

indigenous child care

Searching Multiple Terms - Strategies for Different Databases

1. Break your search down into important keywords or concepts

ie. If your topic is: "How are Aboriginal women portrayed in movies?"

You might try these keywords:

Aboriginal Film Girls
First Nations Cinema Portrayal
Indigenous Media Representation
Native Women Stereotype
Movies Female Depiction


Searches for any/some of these terms may return results. You also may build more complex searches if you want. These searches are constructed to return large numbers of results and may use specific operators/terms to include some options and exclude others.

One search commonly used combines 5 terms and is used on a number of databases:

                                    (Indigenous OR Native* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal* OR Indian*)

You can also substitute or add additional specific keywords such as Metis or Cree.

                                   (Indigenous OR Native* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal* OR Indian* OR Cree OR Metis)

Then combine options with your specific search:

(Indigenous OR Native* OR Indian* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal*) AND Women AND (Film* OR Cinema OR Movie*)

This will search for any of the words in the first set of brackets, plus women, plus any of the words in the second set of brackets.

  • The asterisk /star at the end of the term is used here to search all terms that begin with the letters that precede it. (For example, native & natives will be searched at the same time.)
  • The quotation marks are used to capture words as phrases - here they are used around the phrase First Nation. (Other examples - "United States", "Assembly of First Nations"). The asterisk is added within the brackets to capture both First Nation and First Nations.
  • The brackets often are used to contain sets of options - here they are used around our first group (the 5) to indicate we want ANY of these terms, and then again to indicate we want any of the last 3 terms. The term women is not in brackets as it is the only variation of that term we have requested.

Search terms may be added or subtracted to the search to suit YOUR research needs.

Here are some other examples:

  (Indigenous OR Native* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal* OR Indian*) AND (justice OR law OR polic* OR legal)

  (Indigenous OR Native* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal* OR Indian*) AND "idle no more"

  (Indigenous OR Native* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal* OR Indian*) AND government policy health


Small differences in search strings may make a big difference in the number of results that are returned. Other operators may be available in some databases and not all search strings work the same way on every database. There is no perfect search. There are other complex search options. For example:

(Indigenous OR Native* OR Indian* OR "First Nation*" OR Aboriginal*) AND Women AND (Film* OR Cinema OR Movie*) NOT india

may work on some databases to remove from the results those which contain the term india. Or, a search might look like this

(Indigenous OR Nativ? OR "First Natio?" OR Aborigina? OR India? NOT india) AND Women AND (Fil? OR Cinema OR Movi?)

if your database requires other operators, used in a slightly different way. Or any other number of variations!

Need help? Ask us.

Subject Guide

Heather Coulter's picture
Heather Coulter
Gov Docs Office
Second Floor - North Stacks


Marian Ramage's picture
Marian Ramage
Library, main floor, room 111 (beside the Inter-Library Loan office)

CBC News/Indigenous

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