We would like to acknowledge that the Western Manitoba Regional Library’s facilities are located on Treaty 1 and 2 Lands. These are the traditional homelands of the Dakota, Anishanaabe, Oji-Cree, Cree, Dene and Metis people. We respect these lands and the people that they belong to.
The Western Manitoba Regional Library is seeking to become more involved in Truth and Reconciliation, specifically by providing relevant and valuable resources and services as well as allyship to our Indigenous patrons and Indigenous communities in general.
Some steps that the Library has taken in our reconciliation journey so far include:
Creation of an ongoing Indigenous Author/Storyteller series
We began an Indigenous Author/Storyteller series in Spring 2021. This series of public programs are free to the public and open to all. Our programs are planned seasonally, so each season we will host a different Indigenous author or storyteller.
So far, our guests have included Michael Kusugak (presented in April 2021) and Harold R. Johnson (booked for September 11, 2021). The focus of these author/storyteller visits is to promote literature by Indigenous authors, share about Indigenous culture and history, and bring awareness to issues facing Indigenous peoples. The Library is committed to fairly compensating these authors/storytellers for their work and time.
Hosting Truth and Reconciliation programs & events
The Library’s programming team is researching opportunities for the WMRL to host Truth & Reconciliation programs and events and make them accessible to our patrons and general public on a regular basis. In May 2021, the Library hosted a virtual KAIROs Blanket Exercise led by a team of Indigenous facilitators from across Canada. The aim of the Blanket Exercise is to explore the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples and touches on difficult life experiences for Indigenous peoples including treaty-making, colonization, residential schools, and more. The WMRL was able to offer this program at no charge to attendees.
The Library has ensured that subject headings use correct and up-to-date terminology (i.e. change of subject from “Indian” to “Indigenous”), following Library Archives Canada guidelines.
The WMRL’s online catalogue features a link to Indigenous Collections that is then broken down into various topics such as “language,” “residential schools,” “treaties,” and more in order to make these resources easily searchable and accessible.
Technical Services staff members are building our collections, both physical and digital, of Indigenous/Truth & Reconciliation materials.
We are also building a collection of Cree language books for children.
National Truth and Reconciliation Day – September 30th:
All branches of the WMRL will close on September 30th each year to recognize the history and trauma caused by the residential schools.
Following are links to additional information and resources that may be of interest:
The final report is available on the MMIWG website.
Search the WPL’s Indigenous Guides – 10 guides, including language, reports and treaties.
Please be aware that the WMRL does not maintain links or information on external websites.
June 21 – National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrating the heritage, diverse cultures and outstanding achievements of First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples
September 30 – The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, is a new statutory holiday for employees in federally regulated workplaces and will be generally observed in Manitoba as well. This day provides an opportunity for all Canadians to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event.