Federation of Ontario Public Libraries

FOPL’s Indigenous Library Partnership Working Group has formally endorsed and recommends the CFLA’s Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations. This report was published by CFLA’s Truth and Reconciliation Committee which exists to promote initiatives in all types of libraries to advance reconciliation by supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and to promote collaboration in these issues across the Canadian library community.

The report details 10 overarching recommendations for public libraries of the 94 Calls to Action that can be implemented. The following recommendations were made to the CFLA by the CFLA Truth and Reconciliation Committee and can be adapted to our public libraries as well:

1. As CFLA-FCAB is a national voice with the ability to influence national and
international policy regarding issues of importance, we request the CFLA-FCAB create a
permanent Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters utilizing the medicine wheel
framework developed by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee;

2. The T&R Committee supports and endorses the CFLA-FCAB Position Statement on
Library and Literacy Services for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) Peoples of
Canada;

3. Encourage libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions to implement the Truth
and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action, several of which have
been identified as having a direct impact on libraries and archives and are prioritized in
this report, and to implement a status report on a yearly basis to monitor their
implementation;

4. Ensure accessibility moving forward by continually reminding stakeholders that material
produced and programming planned in the future should be accessible to all Canadians.
CELA (the Center for Equitable Library Access) and NNELS (the National Network
for Equitable Library Service) are positioned to support these efforts.

5. Decolonize Access and Classification by addressing the structural biases in existing
schemes of knowledge organization and information retrieval arising from colonialism by
committing to integrating Indigenous epistemologies into cataloguing praxis and
knowledge management;

6. Decolonize Libraries and Space by recognizing and supporting Indigenous cultures,
languages and knowledges through culturally appropriate space planning, interior design,
signage, art installations, territorial acknowledgements of geographic-specific traditional
territories and public programming in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders;

7. Enhance opportunities for Indigenous library, archival and information professionals as
well as the inclusion of Indigenous epistemologies in the Canadian library and archives
profession through culturally appropriate pedagogy, recruitment practices, professional
and continuing education and cross-cultural training in collaboration with local
Indigenous stakeholders and partners;

8. Recommend the implementation of Indigenous Knowledge Protection protocols and
agreements with local and other Indigenous groups who have holdings in libraries,
archives and/or cultural memory institutions to respect the Indigenous cultural concept of
copyright with regard to Indigenous history or heritage, which is often located in but not
limited to oral traditions, songs, dance, storytelling, anecdotes, place names, hereditary
names and other forms of Indigenous knowledges; recommend that CFLA-FCAB
actively participate in reforming the Canadian Copyright Act to include protection of
CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee Report & Recommendations 7
Canadian Federation of Library Associations-Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques (CFLA-FCAB)
Indigenous knowledges and languages while advocating for changes to include traditional
knowledge as outlined and recommended by the World Intellectual Property
Organization (WIPO) – Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and
Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore
(http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/igc/). We join the Truth and Reconciliation Commission
(TRC) in calling upon Library and Archives Canada to implement the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #69 (Appendix D) by fully implementing the
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP)
http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf and the Updated Set of
Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to
Combat Impunity (2005), more commonly known as the Joinet/Orentlicher Principles
http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/impu/principles.html;

9. Establish an online database of “living documents” to highlight existing Best Practices of
Indigenous Services in libraries, archives, and cultural memory institutions that will serve
as a foundation to help disseminate those best practices and for this “living document” to
be updated preferably on a quarterly basis but minimally semi-annually;

10. Maintain a database of Indigenous organizations or groups committed to preserving
cultural memory primarily, but not limited to, libraries, archives, language preservation,
cultural history/museums to build relationships; to support the development of an
Indigenous association of library, archives and cultural memory institutions; and to
support in principle the National Aboriginal Library Association (NALA) regarding
their stated intent of developing First Nations public libraries on reserves.

There are granular recommendations which are addresses by each of the four Team chapters of the report. FOPL will explore each of the Team’s recommendations in subsequent posts, being; Research and Best Practices (Black Team), Relationships and NALA Liason (Yellow Team), Analysis and TRC Calls to Action (White Team), and Future Decolonization (Red Team). I encourage you to read the report and think on how our libraries can shift to align themselves with Truth and Reconciliation.

Dina Stevens, Executive Director