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First Nations and Indigenous Studies

Selected Resources

Search the UBC Catalogue

Finding Books

Search the UBC Library Catalogue:

Try Keywords

  • First Nations
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • Native

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
   Example: "first nations", "residential school"
Use a question mark to truncate a term, i.e. search words with the same stem.
   Example: aborig? searches aboriginal, aboriginals, aboriginality, etc 

Subject Headings

Browse Subject (begins with):

  Browse Subject contains:

Example: Indian? AND trap?  to find materials on trapping

Subject contains search is more more focused than a general keyword search.

TIP:   UBC Library Catalogue truncation symbol is ?
          Databases & Summon  truncation symbol is  *

Policy & Public Documents

Search Des Libris database for Canadian public and policy documents

   Click Public Documents before searching to narrow results. Try searching keywords

  • First Nations
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • Native

Use quotation marks to search for a phrase
   Example: "First Nations", "Residential School", etc.
Try searching for the names of organizations
   Example: "Aboriginal Healing Foundation"

Try searching UBC Summon or the UBC Library Catalogue by combining these keywords as well.

Subject Headings

Subject headings vary for public documents. Try thinking of terms which may relate to an organization's goals.

  Browse Subject contains:

  • Aboriginal title
  • Healing
  • Legal
  • Government
  • Sovereignty
  • Aboriginal rights

Combine terms for a more focused search.
   Example: First Nations and polic?

Streaming Video

Start by searching Summon using the Advanced Search option

Enter keyword(s)
   Example: Indigenous AND health
Select content type:
Streaming Video

UBC Library also has an online guide for searching streaming video at the Library, including a list of video databases. Searching databases may be more effective than searching Summon for streaming video as not all videos are included in a Summon search.

Databases with Indigenous content include:

Note: Some databases may also include transcripts and clips from films. Some, like North American Indian Thought and Culture, are not specific too films and search results must be filtered.

The CBC Digital Archives may also contain useful videos. To search, click on the magnifying glass on the right side of the screen beneath the CBC Digital Archives logo, not on the top search bar. This top box searches all of the CBC website, not just the archives. No subscription required.

Finding Videos & DVDs

UBC Library Catalogue search:
Enter topic keyword(s) AND video?

  • "First Nations" AND "Land claims" AND video?
  • "First nations" AND Mining AND video?

Summon search:
Enter topic keyword(s)
Example: "First Nations" AND Raven

Select content type: Film, Streaming Video, Video Recording

ELN Media File in OUTLOOK catalogue
Select Advanced search, then use the Narrow Your Search option to add filters.
Select "Libraries - BC ELN Open Collection," then use the Formats filter tool to select the type of media you wish to search.

Enter keyword(s)
Example: Aboriginal education

Book ELN & UBC Media via UBC Media Bookings

To book Xwi7xwa Media:
Contact: 604-827-5013 or email the Access Services Supervisor at

Further Resources

Aboriginal Films and Filmmakers (UBC Research Guide)

National Film Board: Aboriginal Perspectives

NFB Aboriginal Peoples (special section on youth)

Note: Many NFB films are available exclusively for streaming. These films are discoverable only through searching the NFB website. If you can't find an NFB searching the UBC Library, try searching their website.

New Videos at Xwi7xwa