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Indigenization at KPU Library

We at Kwantlen Polytechnic University respectfully acknowledge that we work, live, and study in a region that overlaps with the unceded, traditional and ancestral lands of the xwməθkwəyə̓ m (Musqueam), qi̓ cə̓ y̓ (Katzie), SEMYOME (Semiahmoo), scə̓ waθən (Tsawwassen), qiqéyt (Qayqayt), Kwikwetlem, and the lands of the qw̓ ɑ:nƛ̓ ə̓ n̓ (Kwantlen) First Nation, which gifted its name to this university.
In the cause of reconciliation, we recognize our commitment to address and reduce the ongoing systemic colonialism, oppression and racism that Indigenous Peoples continue to experience.
Audio-visual territorial acknowledgement.

Indigenization at KPU Library is a key goal as part of our 2021-2023 Strategic Plan. Among other actions, KPU Library aims to "Enhance Indigenous Presence within library spaces and reduce colonial barriers within the institution," to "Elevate Indigenous authority within the institution," and to "Amplify Indigenous voices within KPU Library's collections." 


View of χʷƏχʷe ỷƏm Indigenous CollectionThe χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection is a resource space and collection at KPU Library. It is currently located at KPU's Surrey Campus Library, Arbutus Building, on the first floor near the atrium and elevators. 

χʷəχʷéy̓əm means 'Oral Storytelling' in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the language of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Tsawwassen, Kwikwetlem, and Musqueam First Nations on whose traditional territories our University is built. The name was gifted by Sesmelot (Fern Gabriel,) a respected language teacher and consultant from Kwantlen First Nation.

The χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection features Indigenous material by Indigenous authors emphasizing the importance of Indigenous Peoples telling their own stories. Please listen to virtual recordings of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ words used on campus, including  χʷəχʷéy̓əm. The recording publication was organized under the leadership of Len Pierre from Katzie First Nation.

The circular shelves are meant to emphasize the importance of circle learning and sharing. 

χʷəχʷéy̓əm Art

Dancer Fabric

Jennifer Lamont of Métis Nation designed the beautiful upholstery used on the seating in this space.  As a Wilson School of Design student, she developed an inclusive design that features a pow wow dancer surrounded by a floral motif. The vibrant colours bring a uplifting energy to the space.


The space also features four display boxes that regularly house χpey̓əɬp (cedar) weavings, but may also include special displays.

Brian Deer Indigenous Classification

Brian Deer was a Kahnawake Mohawk Librarian who developed the first Indigenous library classification system in Canada in the 1970's. The system has since been adopted by Indigenous-focused collections, such as the X̱wi7x̱wa Library at the University of British Columbia. Brian Deer focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and relating to the world. The classification structure centers relationship and land, taking a more geographic, community-based approach than the Library of Congress system typically used at academic libraries. 

At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we are very privileged to be working with a localized version of Brian Deer updated by Metis Librarian Ashley Edwards at Simon Fraser University for their Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre. All the material in the χʷƏχʷe ỷƏm Indigenous Collection have been organized with aPDF icon KPU specific localization of Brian Deer.

Indigenous Information Literacy

Since 2021, our Indigenous Engagement & Subject Liaison Librarian, Rachel Chong, created a series of instructional videos on using or sharing Indigenous information in research. Created to support research with an Indigenous lens, these videos are for Indigenous and non-Indigenous instructors, their classrooms, and for students who undertake research using Indigenous sources or in Indigenous communities. The videos cover topics such as respectful research practices, how to cite Elders & Knowledge Keepers, and how to evaluate Indigenous sources. Visit the Indigenous Information Literacy page on our Indigenous Studies subject guide.

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