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Indigenous Children's Literature

Children's and Young Adult Collections at Xwi7xwa Library

YUA - Materials for Children Ages 0-9

This call number is assigned to board books, picture books, and first fiction. Some popular writers in this section include Thomas King, Monique Grey Smith, Thompson Highway, and Julie Flett.

YUB - Materials for Children Ages 9-13 

This call number is assigned to fiction and non-fiction for a Middle Grade audience. Indigenous writers publishing work in this age range include Tim Tingle, Louise Erdrich, Joseph Bruchac, and Jacqueline Guest.

YUC - Materials for Youth Ages 14-19

This call number identifies books for a teen or YA audience, including fiction and non-fiction. Popular Indigenous writers for this age range include Eric Gansworth, Cynthia Letitch Smith, Richard Van Camp, and editors Lisa Charleyboy, and Mary Beth Leatherman.

YUD - Needs Careful Interpretation

This call number identifies texts that represent Indigenous peoples in stereotypical, reductive, and harmful ways. Many of the books in this section have had a significant cultural impact, influencing perceptions of Indigenous people. Examples include classics like The Indian in the Cupboard. This section provides materials students and scholars can use to practice critical analysis and literary interpretation.

French Language Collection

This growing French language collection is one of the newest editions to Xwi7xwa Library. Original French language titles are available, as well as translated works. Many of the titles in the French language collection discuss residential schools and their impacts.

Graphic Novel Collection

Xwi7xwa has a growing collection of Indigenous graphic novels and comic books. Ranging from single issue comics to whole multi-book series, the graphic novel collection is as diverse in stories and voices as the rest of the library’s collection.

ET - Curriculum and Teaching Materials

Xwi7xwa Library has a well-developed collection of curriculum and teaching materials  including puppets!  which can be used for formal and informal education. The ET classmark covers general curriculum materials; ETA covers kindergarten and preschool education; ETE covers elementary education; ETS covers secondary education; and ETT covers adult educational curricula.

New Books

Xwi7xwa Library uses its own classification system, which means we have to classify all our materials ourselves. Recent additions to the collection are available to borrowers before they have been classified. These new books have a "No call number available" designation in the catalogue but if they're listed as available in the Xwi7xwa Library stacks, they can be found on the shelf nearest to the reception desk, shelved alphabetically by title.

Search the UBC Catalogue

TIP: If you limit your search to Location: Xwi7xwa Library, you don't need to use keywords like "Indigenous" because our collection centers Indigenous scholarship and perspectives. You'll retrieve fewer results, which means you may exclude some relevant materials, but it also means you won't have to sift through pages of results that have little to do with Indigeneity.

Finding Materials in the UBC Catalogue: Video

Finding Materials in the UBC Catalogue

Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Keyword Searches

Combine keywords relating to the concept of Indigenous identity AND keywords about children's literature. For example:

  • "First Nations"
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • "Indians of North America"
  • Native
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Musqueam (or any nation)
AND
  • "Children's books"
  • "Juvenile literature"
  • "Literature, juvenile"
  • "Young adult"
  • "Juvenile fiction"
  • "Picture books"
  • "Primary school"
  • "Elementary school
  • "Intermediate education"

Helpful Hints for Keyword Searches

  • Use quotation marks to search for a phrase.
    Example: "First Nations"
  • Use a question mark to truncate a term to search for words with the same stem.
    Example: Aborig? retrieves Aboriginal, Aboriginals, Aboriginality, etc.

Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Subject Headings

Subject headings are a tool designed to help researchers find similar materials. These are only some examples of the many subject headings that Xwi7xwa Library uses. Spend a few minutes exploring them when you find a book in the catalogue that supports your research.

Browse Catalogue > Subject begins with:

Try these basic strategies to begin your research in the UBC Library Catalogue.

Browse Call Numbers

Xwi7xwa Library uses a unique Classification Scheme. Come by the library to browse the shelves or search for the following call numbers on our online catalogue.

See call numbers beginning with YU for children's literature:

  • YUA - Primary-Intermediate
  • YUB - Intermediate-Junior
  • YUC - Junior-Secondary

See call numbers beginning with E for materials on education:

  • ET - General
  • ETA - Preschool and Kindergarten
  • ETE - Elementary
  • ETS - Secondary
  • ETT - Adult
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Puppet Collection

Xwi7xwa Library has a growing collection of Native Explore Puppets from the Storyteller's Puppet Collection, designed by Indigenous artists for use in and outside the classroom. As well as proving an excellent resource for storytelling, using puppets as a teaching tool can improve communication and collaboration for young learners, and bridge gaps between actual and imaginative play in the classroom. Puppets can also play an important role in teaching languages, through helping learners to enhance their listening skills and internalize oral language patterns.

Puppets available to borrow from Xwi7xwa Library include:

Browse the puppet collection from the Xwi7xwa Library website by searching either of the following:


For more information on teaching with puppets, please visit: