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Indigenous Studies: Getting Started

Starting Your Research Project

This page has some tips to help you with your research.

Featured Resources

Important Considerations

"Nothing about us without us."

- Marie Battiste (in MacDonald, 2017)

Before embarking on a research project in Indigenous Studies, it is important to think about the reasons for your research and the materials you choose to use. Some questions you should ask:

  • Who wrote the resource you have selected? What is their worldview?
  • What is the purpose of the resource? Of your research?
  • Who benefits from this research and/or resource?
  • When was the resource created?
  • Was the resource created in consultation with Indigenous communities or individuals?
  • How was the information gathered? Why was it gathered?
  • Who owns the research and the rights to the research?


  • Searching databases ("Find Articles" tab) and the library catalogue ("Search" tab, "Library Catalogue" link) depends on Keywords and Subject Headings.
  • Universities and their libraries are the products of colonialism and this is reflected in the terminology used in library catalogues.
  • There are ongoing efforts to update the library catalogue to reflect names and terminology that are more accurate and respectful.

Subject Headings


  • In addition to using the subject terms above as keywords, you may also use words describing groups of people: for example, Indigenous, Aboriginal, First Nations, Métis, Inuit, Native, American Indian (United States only)
  • Collective names: for example, Blackfoot, Cree, Anishinaabe, Inuvialuit, Yupik, Gwich'in
  • Nation-specific/language-specific names: for example, Kainai, Piikani, Tsu T'ina, Siksika, nēhiyawak, Vuntut, Uummarmiut
  • Combining these keywords with other keywords related to topics will help you find better results (e.g,, dancing, food, art)


Government Terminology Guides

How to Talk About Indigenous People

Subject Guide

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Tools for Allyship

Research Guides

These guides were created to help you with research and writing:

For more help, contact your Subject Guide.