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Decolonization & Anti-Racism

In support of UBC's Indigenous Strategic Plan (ISP) this guide assists in finding and facilitating decolonial & anti-racist research. Here you will find key resources, search strategies, & additional open access information sources.

Search the UBC Catalogue

TIP: If you limit your search to Location: X̱wi7x̱wa Library, you do not need to use keywords like "Indigenous" because our collection centres Indigenous scholarship and perspectives. You will retrieve fewer results, which means you may exclude some relevant materials, but it also means you will not have to sift through pages of results that have little to do with Indigeneity.

Terms: what are the differences?

Researchers, please note that terminology utilized to find resources requires you to use a broad range of terms however when publishing/creating current research/projects, some of these terms are offensive (ex. Indian) and not used in everyday communication. For this reason it is important to know what terms you are using and why (both when researching and participating in knowledge production). The following information is brief and pulled from on terminology,  see their site for a better understanding of the following:

Aboriginal: this is a Canadian term that refers to First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples rooted in 1982 for Section 35 of the Canadian Constitution. As a search term you will also find resources relevant to Australia. 

First Nations: this is a Canadian term that refers to Aboriginal (see above) peoples who are neither Métis nor Inuit rooted in 1970s and ‘80s to replace 'Indian' (see below). 

Indian: this is a Canadian term that refers to the legal identity of a First Nations person registered under the Indian Act. It should only be applied when referring to someone who has status under the Indian Act. 

Indigenous: this term refers to Aboriginal groups at an international, transnational, or global context with origins in the 1970's and ties to movements of solidarity at the United Nation. 

Native: "a general term that refers to a person or thing that has originated from a particular place." 

Note: see the 'Terminology' tab of this guide. 

Finding Materials in the UBC Catalogue

IMPORTANT: the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources; do not hesitate to contact us for assistance navigating this. 

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

Keyword Searches

Combine keywords about your topic AND keywords relating to the concept of Indigenous identity. For example:

  • "First Nations"
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • Native
  • Inuit
  • Métis


  • "Research method?"
  • "Research ethic?"
  • Methodolog?
  • Decolonization
  • "critical race theory"
  • "feminist theory"
  • "Indigenous feminis?"
  • "anti-racism"
  • intersectionality
  • "critical theory"
  • "queer theory"

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, Aborigine, etc. 

Subject headings are a tool designed to help researchers find similar materials. These are only some examples of the many subject headings that X̱wi7x̱wa 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:

The series:

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

Browse Call Numbers

X̱wi7x̱wa Library uses a unique Classification Scheme. At X̱wi7x̱wa relevant call numbers will include:

PW - Women

PZ - Two-Spirit People

S - Health

T - Worldview

YF - Fiction

YS - Biography, Autobiography