Can your public library sponsor an  indigenous library in Ontario?

We have a number of First Nation libraries as members of FOPL.  We’d like to have them all and create more libraries on reserves.

FOPL recently joined the Canadian Federation of Library Associations (CFLA) and they have as one of their top lobbying issues the Truth and Reconciliation Report recommendations, which they’re putting the meat on now.  Add to this the heavy emphasis on indigenous strategies in Ontario’s First Culture Strategy as well as the Ontario government’s First Nation Consultations going on now, FOPL wants to make sure we’re representing our Ontario libraries well and getting good levels of input from everyone while ensuring that we help to strengthen funding and support for First Nation libraries.
This is the year we need strength in numbers with the Public Library Funding Review! And the government has shown strong focus on culture and indigenous issues – and we can help!
Here’s our initiative.  In the past we have had a number of libraries agree to sponsor First Nation Libraries for membership (it’s just 50 bucks and we send the sponsoring library the invoice but add the First Nation library as a full member) Your and your board can too!

Here’s a list of the Ministry’s list of FN libraries in Ontario that are not FOPL members.

Atikameksheng Anishnawbek Band No. 6 FN Whitefish First Nation 25 reserve road ON P0M2M0
Aundeck-Omni-Kaning FN Little Current P.O. Box 21  RR #1 ON P0P1K0
Beausoleil First Nation Public Library Christian Island 150 Mkade Kegwin MIIkan ON L9M0A9
Big Grassy FN Morson P.O. Box 453 ON P0W1J0
Bkejwanong FN Wallaceburg Walpole Island First Nation R.R. #3 ON N8A4K9
Chippewas of Georgina Island FN Sutton West Box N-13 R.R. #2 ON L0E1R0
Chippewas of Nawash FN Wiarton R.R. #5 ON N0H2T0
Chippewas of the Thames FN Muncey 320 Chippewa Road ON N0L1Y0
Curve Lake FN Curve Lake,ON 22 Winookeeda St. ON K0L1R0
Delaware FN Thamesville R.R. #3 ON N0P2K0
Dokis FN Via Monetville 930 Main Street Box 3 ON P0M2N1
Garden River FN Garden River 48 Syrette Lake Road ON P6A5K9
Henvey Inlet FN Pickerel 368 Pickerel River Road ON P0G1J0
Iskatewizaagegan No. 39 FN Shoal Lake Indian Bay road P.O. Box 5 ON P0X1E0
Mattagami FN Gogama P.O. Box 99 ON P0M1W0
Michipicoten FN Wawa 107 Hiawatha Drive P.O. Box 1 RR#1, Site 8 ON P0S1K0
Mississauga FN Blind River P.O. Box 1299 ON P0R1B0
Mississaugas of Scugog Island FN Port Perry 22600 Island Road ON L9L1B6
Mohawks of Akwesasne FN Cornwall P.O. Box 579 ON K6H5T3
Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte FN Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory 13 Old York Road, c/o MBQ Admin. ON K0K1X0
Naotkamegwanning FN Naotkamegwanning General Delivery ON P0X1L0
New Credit FN Hagersville R.R. # 6 ON N0A1H0
Nipissing FN Garden Village 36 Semo Road ON P2B3K2
Ojibways of Onigaming FN Nestor Falls P.O. Box 509 ON P0X1K0
Ojibways of the Pic River FN Heron Bay P. O. Box 216 ON P0T1R0
Rainy River FN Emo Box 450 ON P0W1E0
Sachigo Lake FN Sachigo Lake General Delivery ON P0V2P0
Sagamok Anishnawbek FN Massey Box 610 ON P0P1P0
Seine River FN Seine River FN P.O. Box 129 ON P0W1H0
Serpent River FN Cutler 49 Village Road  P.O. Box 16 ON P0P1B0
Shawanaga FN Nobel R.R. #1 ON P0G1G0
Sheshegwaning FN Sheshegwaning 1125 Sheshegwaning Road ON P0P1X0
Temagami FN Bear Island General Delivery ON P0H1C0
Thessalon FN Thessalon 40 Sugarbush Rd. R.R. #2 ON P0R1L0
Wahta Mohawk FN Bala Box 260 ON P0C1A0
Wasauksing FN Parry Sound P.O. Box 250 ON P2A2X4
Whitefish River FN Birch Island 52 Bay of Islands Road ON P0P1A0
With the emphasis on Truth and Reconciliation, the Ontario Culture Strategy initiatives and consultations, education issues, clean water and more, we’d like to offer sponsored memberships to FOPL members that covers the membership fee for FN Libraries in Ontario as part of their library’s T&R efforts – basically twin them as partners and build programs and funding as we lobby for the PLOG changes and more.  We can then invest that fee in supporting activities to strengthen indigenous libraries.
There are just 36 of them that are not FOPL members (and this is almost always a fiscal issue).  We  think we can bring them all the to the table this way and help to increase the voice of indigenous libraries to the mix.
What do you think?  Are you in?  Is there a reserve library near you or can this fit in with your indigenous programs?  Are you looking for ways to support the Truth & Reconciliation Report’s recommendations (20 page PDF:
I’m linking to FOPL’s recent analysis from the Ministry’s data collection project of the great work that First Nation libraries do in their communities.  The FOPL Board authorized this report as a start to our continued support. []
Lastly, we seem to be seeing a language change (again) with both Ontario and the Feds using “Indigenous” as the key word versus ‘First Nation’.
If you’d like to participate you can follow this process:
Contact me (Stephen Abram, executive director of FOPL) at or call 416-395-0746 and volunteer.  Simple enough!
Let me know if you have a preferred indigenous community to sponsor. And then I’ll make it happen.
Some activities that may add meat to this initiative are having reciprocal visits between your libraries, opening up library card-holding privileges to local reserves (if they’re not already), offering reciprocal or co-planned programs from each of you at twinned libraries, offering virtual programs or special digital access to remote libraries or whatever your partnership activities and imaginations dream up.
Stephen Abram, executive director of FOPL