UBC Library and Archives

Xwi7xwa Library June 2007 Update 2010

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Xwi7xwa Library June 2007 Updates Chinese New Year, Aboriginal Participation Tania Willard photos Redwire Magazine, April 2005, p. i. Xwi7xwa Library materials included videos, such as,  A Tribe of One, articles from Native newspapers about Aboriginal participation in Chinese New Year and Canadians for Reconciliation’s support of First Nations communities, and the Van- couver Storyscapes story sharing of the cross cultural relationships shared by these two communities. In October 2004, a banquet in Chinatown hosted by Canadians for Reconciliation raised over $6,500 for flood and fire relief in several First Nations communities. Mount Currie, Lil’wat Nation redirected their share to tsunami relief in Southeast Asia.  This was the first collaborative project between the Xwi7xwa library and Asian Library and we look forward to more partnerships, such as, The International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) satellite conference Multicultural to Intercultural: Libraries Connecting Communities opening at the First Nations Longhouse August 5th 2008! Playing with Spirit : First Nations Media, Music and Sport This was the theme of the Xwi7xwa Library exhibit at the Asian Library Annual Open House April 21, 2007.  Kim Lawson, Xwi7xwa reference librarian, and Linda Allen, library technician, designed the “Playing with Spirit” display to show glimpses of the relationships between Aboriginal and Asian people in British Co- lumbia.  This celebration of Asian Heritage month brought over 800 people to an event-filled day sponsored by Eleanor Yuen, Head, Asian Library.  Eleanor’s work with the database of Historical Chinese Language Materials in B.C. led to her re- search interest in genealogy of First Nations and Chinese Canadians (soon to be published).  A digitization project by the UBC History department of over 90,000 Chinese Head Tax records is nearing completion and may be of interest to Abo- riginal people doing family tree research.  There’s more on the Xwi7xwa website < http://www.library.ubc.ca/xwi7xwa/gene.htm> The participants who are proud to be both Aboriginal and black or Japanese and Aboriginal … all face some  difficulty in reducing issues of their identity to simply to whether they are “Indian or not” (in To- ronto terms), even as they make decisions to ‘come out’ as unequivocally Native” Bonita Lawrence “Real” Indians and Others:  Mixed Blood Urban Native Peoples and Indigenous Nationhood, p. 256. Asian Library, Asian Centre, 1871 West Mall Vancouver, B.C. Supporting The First Nations House of Learning mandate to make the resources of the university more accessible to Aboriginal people, the Xwi7xwa Library is partnering on a research grant with the Mowachaht and Muchalaht First Nations and the UBC His- tory Department. The three year project, Reclaiming the Past for Tomorrow: Indigenous Narratives and Knowledge Repatriation, will develop a community resource centre at Tsaxana.  A long term goal of the Mowachaht and Muchalaht is to build a cultural in- terpretive centre at their ancestral home of Yuquot that will support economic devel- opment within their traditional territory, educate youth, enable language revitaliza- tion, and nurture Indigenous knowledge. Kim Lawson, Xwi7xwa reference librarian, is participating in facilitating the community visioning processes and teach- ing research skills.  She brings long experience working with Aboriginal organizations, archives and museums, as well as, skills in Indigenous librarianship that will provide key philosophical and operational strengths for the project.  Once the resource centre is established, the Mowachaht/ Muchalaht community will initiate new projects with the team, such as, genealogy studies, language revitalization, GIS mapping, traditional use studies, creation of historical narratives, identifying artefacts held by museums, and the creation of a website for edu- cational use by the local community and eventually for public ac- cess. Community members will develop the skills necessary to conduct and manage these research projects. Skills include the use of a variety of sources, such as, oral narratives, maps, documents, photographs, and artefacts; maintenance of research information and databases; development of culturally appropriate procedures for dealing with intellectual and cultural property.  The Mowachaht/Muchalaht First Nation’s ancestral village of Yu- quot was a site of “first contact” with the Spanish and the British. They have one of the longest histories of contact with non- Indigenous newcomers on the Northwest Coast, and hold one of the most voluminous evidentiary and scholarly re- cords on the Northwest Coast.  The UBC team members include, Paige Raibmon (principle investigator), Department of History; Karen Duffek, Mu- seum of Anthropology; Patricia Shaw, First Nations Languages Program; Joseph T. Tennis, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies; Sally Hermansen, Geography Dept. and Linc Kesler, First Nations Studies Program. Xwi7xwa library staff; Kim Lawson, reference librarian, Linda Allen library technician, Dana Ionson, graduate student assistant, Ann Doyle, head. Muchalat  Mowachaht  Vancouver Island Mowachaht and Muchalaht First Nations: Indigenous Narratives and Knowledge Repatriation


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