Supporting Indigenous research at UWaterloo

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

The Library recently launched its first ever Indigenous Research Guide.

A collaborative partnership between the Library, Graduate Student Association (GSA) and the Office of Research, this guide will help Indigenous students and those interested in Indigenous studies and research methodologies discover available resources in the Library’s collection and how to approach such research. 

kon,Tungasugit, Tanshi, Tansi!This project all began with Jaydum Hunt, a graduate student who was working as the campus partnership coordinator for the GSA at the time. She was on the lookout for projects that could result in concrete action to support students on campus. With her own Indigenous background and research focus, when she discovered a gap in the Library’s research guides an idea began to take root. Seeking out Jean Becker, associate vice-president Indigenous Relations, for feedback and support, Jaydum was quickly connected with Kathy MacDonald, head of Information Services and Resources at Dana Porter Library. 

The development of this guide was unlike any other by design. First, a team was put together to provide various perspectives. In addition to Jaydum and Kathy, Sara Anderson generously provided her unique perspective educating those interested in engaging Indigenous communities for research purposes in her role as manager of Research Program Development and Partnerships, Indigenous Initiatives. To round out the team, librarians Jane Forgay, Brie McConnell and Antonio Muñoz Gómez brought their deep knowledge of the library landscape to the project.  

Second, before even looking at what resources were available, they spent time developing the story told through the various sections of the guide, which was vital to providing the context necessary when approaching Indigenous research. Once this story was in place, librarians were able to bring together a deep well of resources available to support Indigenous research across disciplines.  

Finally, they recognized Indigenous scholarship requires an iterative approach with a feedback loop built into their process and the guide itself. UWaterloo Indigenous leaders and researchers were consulted prior to launch and a feedback tab is included within the guide. Plans are in place to regularly review the guide, so it remains up to date as Indigenous scholarship grows and develops. 

The launch of this guide is the culmination of a lot of work by the development team and showcases the value of their collaboration, intentional approach and various perspectives. Check out the Indigenous Research Guide and, if you have the opportunity to use it, we eagerly await your feedback. 

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