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Traditional Governance

Systems of traditional governance

Aboriginal values flow from an Aboriginal worldview or “philosophy...” Aboriginal traditions, laws, and customs are the practical application of the philosophy and values of the group.

Little Bear, Leroy. 2000. “Jagged Worldviews Colliding”.

Using this Research Guide

  • Not every nation is included under the "Traditional Governance by Nation" page. Instead of being a comprehensive list of every nation and relevant resources, these pages are intended to be a starting place. By browsing the resources under each nation, you can get an idea of the academic literature, topics, themes, grey literature and formats that communities create about traditional governance, and explore what might exist (or could be created) for the nation you are researching. 
  • X̱wi7x̱wa's collection focuses on the lands we are located on, and "BC" as a whole, and so this guide is also focused there. However, the branch and UBC as a whole has materials from around the world. Below are instructions on how to search the collections for materials on a specific community.

Please feel free to come into the branch, or to send an email to X̱wi7x̱wa librarians for research help about traditional governance:

Searching by nation/community

Using Summon to Search by Community/Nation

  • In Summon's Advanced Search, from the "All Fields" dropdown menu, select "Subject Terms."
  • Enter the nation or community name.
    • The UBC library system does not easily recognize non-Roman orthographies, like syllabics or the International Phonetic Alphabet. If searching for information on xʷməθkʷəy̓əm, for example, search Musqueam. 

*Items in the X̱wi7x̱wa collection will use the name most recently preferred by the community, while materials at other UBC libraries will use outdated or older names (ex., X̱wi7x̱wa uses Nuu-chah-nulth, Koerner will use Nootka).