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Climate Change

Xwi7xwa Library Resources

Roof of Xwi7xwa Library.

Xwi7xwa Library

This segment of the Climate Change research guide was created by staff at Xwi7xwa Library. Read more about Xwi7xwa Library on our website and visit our other research guides. To book a research appointment, see our Make an Appointment page or email us at

Students are pictured standing on top of the Giant Floor Map, which is laying on the ground.

Indigenous Peoples Atlas of Canada Giant Floor Map

"This resource will assist you and your students in understanding the past, present and future of Indigenous Peoples in Canada."--publisher's website. The Giant Floor Map was created through collaboration with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, Indigenous Educators, National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation, the Government of Canada, Metis Nation, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, as well as many others too numerous to name. The map is accompanied by various resources related to topics such as Language, Treaties, Climate Change and more! To browse all topics see the Canadian Geographic Education page about the atlas.

Nunami board game box. It is a white box with a pink and green hexagonal logo.

Nunami: An Inuit Boardgame

"ᐱᖖᙳᐊᓂᒃᑯᑦ ᐊᕙᑎᓕᕆᑦᓯᐊᓂᕐᓴᐅᓕᐅᑎᕈᑎᒃ. A game where by balancing nature and gaining influence, you win. Un jeu òu vous gagnez en influençant l'équilibre de la nature" -- Container.
"nunami is an Inuit board game designed by Thomassie Mangiok of Ivujivik, with additional illustrations by Passa Mangiuk and Pasa Mangiok. It's a game born of three family generations. The game is based on the Inuit culture and on pre-colonial life in the arctic, influenced by Thomassie Mangiok's values. Entertainment, respect, appreciation of difference, exploration, and objective thinking are highlighted through the gameplay." See more on the nunami game website.

Image of seed sharing library at Xwi7xwa

Seed Sharing Library

Xwi7xwa Library has a new seed sharing library available open to all. Come by the branch to grab some seeds and browse our collection of plant and gardening resources.

UBC Catalogue - Books & Media

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the dominant structure for organizing information is from a western perspective, for this reason you may need to use outdated (sometimes offensive) terminology to find resources; do not hesitate to contact us for assistance navigating this.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

This site: on terminology assists in understanding the difference between Indian, Aboriginal, "First Nation", native, and Indigenous.

Keyword Searches

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

  • "First Nations"
  • Indigenous
  • Aboriginal
  • Aboriginal
  • Indian
  • Native
  • Native
  • Inuit
  • Métis
  • Nation name (ex. Squamish)

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. 

 Keywords Related to Climate Change

  • climate change
  • global warming
  • environmental change
  • environmental issues
  • sustainability
  • climate action
  • climate justice
  • traditional ecological knowledge
  • environmental justice
  • ecojustice
  • Indigenous ecology
  • climate resilience
  • Indigenous-led conservation
  • natural resources
  • environmental racism
  • environmental activists
  • water protectors
  • land protectors


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 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:

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 for materials on :

  • N: Natural Resources/Environment (including traditional land use and resources use)
  • NA: Pipelines
  • NAA: Natural Resource - Management
  • NB: Environmental - General, Environmental Justice
  • NN: Hydro Project Dams, Water, Water Rights
  • NO: Oil and gas development
  • NS: Mining

See call numbers beginning with SN for materials on :

  • SN: Nutrition, Ethnobotany

See call numbers beginning with F for materials on:

  • F: Economic Development
  • FF: Forestry
  • FK: Agriculture
  • FS: Fishing Rights


Local: British Columbia

These articles are available through cIRcle, UBC's open access repository for research and teaching materials. For help with searching through cIRcle, feel free to email us at

This video is part of a video series with Musqueam community members posted by the Museum of Anthropology. It was originally produced for the exhibition c̓əsnaʔəm, the city before the city, by the Musqueam First Nation in partnership with the Museum of Anthropology at UBC, the Museum of Vancouver and the University of Waterloo.

National Perspectives

"Tuktut tipingit ajjigijunniiqtangit manna" : Inuit innait qaujisimajangit silaup asijjirningani / "The caribou taste different now" : Inuit elders observe climate change

"Climate change is expected to have a particular impact on the Arctic regions of the world. Melting permafrost, changing wildlife migration patterns, and new species of flora and fauna threaten to forever change the landscape of the North, as well as the lives of its people. In this book, Inuit elders and knowledge holders from eight Canadian Arctic communities--Kugluktuk, Baker Lake, Pangnirtung, and Pond Inlet in Nunavut; Umiujaq, Kangiqsujuaq, and Kagiqsualujjuaq in Nunavik; and Nain in Nunatsiavut--share their observations of climate change, including how it is affecting traditional ways of life. Paired with scientific analysis of the research findings, this book adds a valuable and unique insight to the academic literature on climate change."

Climate Change and Indigenous Peoples in the United States

With a long history and deep connection to the Earth's resources, indigenous peoples have an intimate understanding and ability to observe the impacts linked to climate change. Traditional ecological knowledge and tribal experience play a key role in developing future scientific solutions for adaptation to the impacts. The book explores climate-related issues for indigenous communities in the United States, including loss of traditional knowledge, forests and ecosystems, food security and traditional foods, as well as water, Arctic sea ice loss, permafrost thaw and relocation. The book also highlights how tribal communities and programs are responding to the changing environments. Fifty authors from tribal communities, academia, government agencies and NGOs contributed to the book. Previously published in Climatic Change, Volume 120, Issue 3, 2013.

Global Warming and the Sweetness of Life

Seeking new definitions of ecology in the tar sands of northern Alberta and searching for the sweetness of life in the face of planetary crises.Confounded by global warming and in search of an affirmative politics that links ecology with social change, Matt Hern and Am Johal set off on a series of road trips to the tar sands of northern Alberta-perhaps the world's largest industrial site, dedicated to the dirty work of extracting oil from Alberta's vast reserves...Seamlessly combining travelogue, sophisticated political analysis, and ecological theory, speaking both to local residents and to leading scholars, the authors propose a new understanding of ecology that links the domination of the other-than-human world to the domination of humans by humans. They argue that any definition of ecology has to start with decolonizationand that confronting global warming requires a politics that speaks to a different way of being in the world-a reconstituted understanding of the sweetness of life.Published with the help of funding from Furthermore- a program of the J. M. Kaplan fund

Groundswell: Indigenous knowledge and a call to action for climate change

Groundswell is a collection of stirring and passionate essays from both Indigenous and non-indigenous writers that, together, present a compelling message about how traditional Indigenous knowledge and practices can -- and must be -- used to address climate change. The chapters eloquently interconnect, taking us from radical thinking to the gentleness of breath, demonstrating that we are all in this together, that we must understand what needs to be accomplished and participate in the care of Mother Earth.

Imam Cimiucia

Through the dual lenses of Western science and traditional Native knowledge, Imam Cimiucia explores the ecological, social, and economic causes of coastal ecosystem change on Alaska's Kenai Peninsula. Coastal communities there--and the world over--have witnessed dramatic changes in their homes in recent years, and this innovative collaboration brings together the research efforts of marine scientists with the experiences, perceptions, and knowledge of Sugpiaq elders and other village residents whose lives are shaped by the sea. This book offers insight into the resilience--and limits--of marine ecosystems, as well as the vast archive of knowledge and expertise held by different cultures.

Whale Snow: Iñupiat, climate change, and multispecies resilience in arctic Alaska

As a mythical creature, the whale has been responsible for many transformations in the world. It is an enchanting being that humans have long felt a connection to. In the contemporary environmental imagination, whales are charismatic megafauna feeding our environmentalism and aspirations for a better and more sustainable future. Using multispecies ethnography, Whale Snow explores how everyday the relatedness of the Iñupiat of Arctic Alaska and the bowhead whale forms and transforms "the human" through their encounters with modernity. Whale Snow shows how the people live in the world that intersects with other beings, how these connections came into being, and, most importantly, how such intimate and intense relations help humans survive the social challenges incurred by climate change. In this time of ecological transition, exploring multispecies relatedness is crucial as it keeps social capacities to adapt relational, elastic, and resilient. In the Arctic, climate, culture, and human resilience are connected through bowhead whaling. In Whale Snow we see how climate change disrupts this ancient practice and, in the process, affects a vital expression of Indigenous sovereignty. Ultimately, though, this book offers a story of hope grounded in multispecies resilience.

When the Caribou Do Not Come

In the 1990s, headlines about declining caribou populations grabbed international attention. Were caribou the canary in the coal mine for climate change, or did declining numbers reflect overharvesting or failed attempts at scientific wildlife management? Grounded in community-based research in northern Canada, a region in the forefront of co-management efforts, these collected stories and essays bring to the fore the insights of the Inuvialuit, Gwich'in, and Sahtú, people for whom caribou stewardship has been a way of life for centuries. Ultimately, this powerful book drives home the important role that Indigenous knowledge must play in understanding, and coping with, our changing Arctic ecosystems.

Landscapes of Power

In Landscapes of Power Dana E. Powell examines the rise and fall of the controversial Desert Rock Power Plant initiative in New Mexico to trace the political conflicts surrounding native sovereignty and contemporary energy development on Navajo (Diné) Nation land. Powell's historical and ethnographic account shows how the coal-fired power plant project's defeat provided the basis for redefining the legacies of colonialism, mineral extraction, and environmentalism. Examining the labor of activists, artists, politicians, elders, technicians, and others, Powell emphasizes the generative potential of Navajo resistance to articulate a vision of autonomy in the face of twenty-first-century colonial conditions. Ultimately, Powell situates local Navajo struggles over energy technology and infrastructure within broader sociocultural life, debates over global climate change, and tribal, federal, and global politics of extraction.

As Long As Grass Grows

The story of Native peoples' resistance to environmental injustice and land incursions, and a call for environmentalists to learn from the Indigenous community's rich history of activism. Through the unique lens of "Indigenized environmental justice," Indigenous researcher and activist Dina Gilio-Whitaker explores the fraught history of treaty violations, struggles for food and water security, and protection of sacred sites, while highlighting the important leadership of Indigenous women in this centuries-long struggle. As Long As Grass Grows gives readers an accessible history of Indigenous resistance to government and corporate incursions on their lands and offers new approaches to environmental justice activism and policy. Throughout 2016, the Standing Rock protest put a national spotlight on Indigenous activists, but it also underscored how little Americans know about the longtime historical tensions between Native peoples and the mainstream environmental movement. Ultimately, she argues, modern environmentalists must look to the history of Indigenous resistance for wisdom and inspiration in our common fight for a just and sustainable future.

We still live here : First Nations, Alberta oil sands, and surviving globalism

"Dr.'s Hankard and Charlton have put together a critically informed work that seeks to explore the range of challenges associated with living downstream from Fort McMurray Oil Sands mining operations. The authors contributing to this book include Indigenous and non-Indigenous authors, First Nation knowledge keepers, Elders and knowledgeable academics."

Environmental Racism in the United States and Canada: Seeking Justice and Sustainability

This book provides a modern history of environmental injustices in the U.S. and Canada and traces the relationship between environmental discrimination, race, and class. It includes local, national, and international case studies; examines the confluence of climate change, natural resource conflicts, political and corporate corruption, and racism; and reflects a regional arrangement to better highlight patterns and types of injustices as well as victims.

Where the rivers meet : pipelines, participatory resource management, and Aboriginal-state relations in the Northwest Territories

"Oil and gas companies now recognize that industrial projects in the Canadian North can only succeed if Aboriginal communities are involved in the assessment of project impacts. Are Aboriginal concerns appropriately addressed through current consultation and participatory processes? Or is the very act of participation used as a means to legitimize project approvals? Where the Rivers Meet is an ethnographic account of Sahtu Dene involvement in the environmental assessment of the Mackenzie Gas Project, a massive pipeline that, if completed, would transport gas from the western subarctic to Alberta, and would have unprecedented effects on Aboriginal communities in the North. Carly A. Dokis reveals that while there has been some progress in establishing avenues for Dene participation in decision-making, the structure of participatory and consultation processes fails to meet expectations of local people by requiring them to participate in ways that are incommensurable with their experiential knowledge and understandings of the environment. Ultimately, Dokis finds that despite Aboriginal involvement, the evaluation of such projects remains rooted in non-local beliefs about the nature of the environment, the commodification of land, and the inevitability of a hydrocarbon-based economy."-

Experiencing and protecting sacred natural sites of Sámi and other Indigenous peoples : the sacred Arctic

With contributions from Sámi and non-Sámi scholars from Arctic regions, this book provides new insights into our understanding of the significance and legal protection of sacred sites for Sámi of the Arctic. It examines the role of international human rights, environmental law, and longstanding customary law that uphold Arctic Indigenous peoples' rights in conservation, and their associated management systems. It also demonstrates the complex relationships between Indigenous knowledge, cultural/spiritual values and belief systems and nature conservation. The book looks forward to providing guidelines for future research and practice for improved integration of the ethical, cultural and spiritual values of nature into law, policy, planning and management. As such, this book offers a contribution to upholding the sanctity of these sites, their cultural identity and the biodiversity associated with them.

How Climate Change Comes to Matter: The Communal Life of Facts

""During the past decade, skepticism about climate change has frustrated those seeking to engage broad publics and motivate them to take action on the issue. In this innovative ethnography, Candis Callison examines the initiatives of social and professional groups as they encourage diverse American publics to care about climate change. She explores the efforts of science journalists, scientists who have become expert voices for and about climate change, American evangelicals, Indigenous leaders, and advocates for corporate social responsibility. The disparate efforts of these groups illuminate the challenge of maintaining fidelity to scientific facts while transforming them into ethical and moral calls to action."

Recovering the Sacred : The Power of Naming and Claiming

An overview of efforts by Native Americans to regain cultural and genetic patrimony and the conditions needed for traditional spiritual practices, including tribal histories, analysis of changes to nutrition, economy, and physical environment, and actions taken toward pollution abatement, dam removal, land and cultural reclamation, and alternative energy production.

Speaking for ourselves: environmental justice in Canada

Speaking for Ourselves draws together scholars and activists - Indigenous and non-Indigenous, established and new - who bring equity issues to the forefront by considering environmental justice in specifically Canadian cases and contexts and from a variety of perspectives, including those of First Nations and women. The contributors expand notions of justice and the concepts involved in environmental justice beyond their European origins and limits to demonstrate new ways of working toward environmental sustainability and social justice.

The Right to Be Cold: one woman's fight to protect the Arctic and save the planet from climate change

"The Right to Be Cold is the human story of life on the front lines of climate change, told by a woman who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most influential Indigenous environmental, cultural, and human rights advocates in the world. Raised by a single mother and grandmother in the small community of Kuujjuaq, Quebec, Watt-Cloutier describes life in the traditional ice-based hunting culture of an Inuit community and reveals how Indigenous life, human rights, and the threat of climate change are inextricably linked. Colonialism intervened in this world and in her life in often violent ways, and she traces her path from Nunavik to Nova Scotia (where she was sent at the age of ten to live with a family that was not her own); to a residential school in Churchill, Manitoba; and back to her hometown to work as an interpreter and student counselor."

We Are All Related Here

The story of the Yup'ik people of Newtok, Alaska, who are being forced to relocate their village due to the erosion and flooding they are experiencing as a result of global warming. We meet some of the people who are being called America's first 'climate refugees, ' and learn about the history and culture of the Yup'ik people of Newtok.

The Use of Indigenous Traditional Knowledge in Climate Change Strategies

"The risks posed by climate change, and in particular climate’s impact on marginalized communities, have further exposed the linkages between climate change, environmental degradation, racism, and social injustice. Often missing from conversations focused on these injustices, however, is an awareness of the agency and knowledge that Indigenous communities bring to climate response. The Wilson Center hosted a discussion with leaders who are working to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into climate decision-making."

Global Climate Change: Books & Resources

Children's Literature

Finding Children's Books by Indigenous Authors

Below are some basic strategies for searching in the UBC Library Catalogue:

1) In the UBC Library Catalogue, search using Keywords for children's books and for Indigenous authors:

  • "Children's books" AND "First Nations author?"
    • Xwi7xwa Library adds a "First Nations author" label to help find books written by Indigenous authors
    • TIP! Using a question mark truncates a term to search for words with the same stem.
      • Example: "author?" searches both author and authors

Try combining "First Nations author?" with other keywords to find more specific results:

  • "Picture books" AND "First Nations author?"
  • "Young adult"
  • "Juvenile fiction"
  • "Juvenile literature"

Try combining "First Nations author?" with Xwi7xwa's call numbers for children's literature:

  • For ages 0-9 and picture books, try: "First Nations author?" AND YUA
  • For ages 9-13 try: "First Nations author?" AND YUB
  • For ages 13+ and Young Adult try: "First Nations author?" AND YUC

2) In Summon, search using Keywords for Indigenous children's books

  • "Children's books" AND Indigenous
  • "Picture books" AND Indigenous
    • For results outside of Xwi7xwa Library OR where the "First Nations author" tag has not been added, you may have to verify authorship.
  • You can combine these with keywords on the topic, e.g. "Children's books" AND Indigenous AND environment