Indigenous Matters Committee



The Committee on Indigenous Matters (Le Comité des affaires autochtones) exists to 

  • explore issues and identify work-related concerns as well as sound practices and identify current work and sound practices related to the service offerings of libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions with and for Indigenous (First Nations, Metis and Inuit) peoples on behalf of CFLA-FCAB
  • promote initiatives in all types of libraries that advance and implement meaningful reconciliation as addressed by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission report and in the Calls to Action 
  • to promote collaboration on these issues across all Canadian memory institutions including, libraries, archives, museums, and educational and cultural organizations, and
  • to monitor ongoing progress in these areas.

Please Read our Terms of Reference here.

Kirk MacLeod, Chair
(member of LAA)
Member of the James Smith Cree Nation (Treaty Six Territory)
Team Lead, North
Alberta Law Libraries

Deborah Pelletier
(member of SLA)
Member of the Red River Metis (Homeland of the Metis Nation)
Consultant, Indigenous Programs and Services

Christian Isbister
(member of BCLA)
Member of the Métis Nation of Alberta
Indigenous Initiatives Librarian, UBC Okanagan

Feather Maracle
(member of OLA)
Mohawk from Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte at Tyendinaga
CEO/Dir. Of Library Services, Six Nations Public Library

Bethany Paul
(member of BCLA) 
Member of the Manitoba Métis Nation (Treaty One Territory) 
Indigenous Teaching, Learning & Initiatives Librarian, Capilano University
British Columbia
CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee Recommendations
The specific recommendations of the CFLA-FCAB Truth and Reconciliation Committee are reproduced below, for reference. The actions described in recommendations 1 and 2 were completed prior to the chartering of this committee—action must still be taken on recommendations 3-10.

  1. As CFLA-FCAB is a national voice with the ability to influence national and international policy regarding issues of importance, we request the CFLA-FCAB create a permanent Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters utilizing the medicine wheel framework developed by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee;
  2. The T&R Committee supports and endorses the CFLA-FCAB Position Statement on Library and Literacy Services for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) Peoples of Canada;
  3. Encourage libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action, several of which have been identified as having a direct impact on libraries and archives and are prioritized in this report, and to implement a status report on a yearly basis to monitor their implementation;
  4. Ensure accessibility moving forward by continually reminding stakeholders that material produced and programming planned in the future should be accessible to all Canadians. CELA (the Center for Equitable Library Access) and NNELS (the National Network for Equitable Library Service) are positioned to support these efforts.
  5. Decolonize Access and Classification by addressing the structural biases in existing schemes of knowledge organization and information retrieval arising from colonialism by committing to integrating Indigenous epistemologies into cataloguing praxis and knowledge management;
  6. Decolonize Libraries and Space by recognizing and supporting Indigenous cultures, languages and knowledges through culturally appropriate space planning, interior design, signage, art installations, territorial acknowledgements of geographic-specific traditional territories and public programming in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders;
  7. Enhance opportunities for Indigenous library, archival and information professionals as well as the inclusion of Indigenous epistemologies in the Canadian library and archives profession through culturally appropriate pedagogy, recruitment practices, professional and continuing education and cross-cultural training in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders and partners;
  8. Recommend the implementation of Indigenous Knowledge Protection protocols and agreements with local and other Indigenous groups who have holdings in libraries, archives and/or cultural memory institutions to respect the Indigenous cultural concept of copyright with regard to Indigenous history or heritage, which is often located in but not limited to oral traditions, songs, dance, storytelling, anecdotes, place names, hereditary names and other forms of Indigenous knowledges; recommend that CFLA-FCAB actively participate in reforming the Canadian Copyright Act to include protection of Indigenous knowledges and languages while advocating for changes to include traditional knowledge as outlined and recommended by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore ( We join the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in calling upon Library and Archives Canada to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #69 (Appendix D) by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Updated Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity (2005), more commonly known as the Joinet/Orentlicher Principles;
  9. Establish an online database of “living documents” to highlight existing Best Practices of Indigenous Services in libraries, archives, and cultural memory institutions that will serve as a foundation to help disseminate those best practices and for this “living document” to be updated preferably on a quarterly basis but minimally semi-annually;
  10. Maintain a database of Indigenous organizations or groups committed to preserving cultural memory primarily, but not limited to, libraries, archives, language preservation, cultural history/museums to build relationships; to support the development of an Indigenous association of library, archives and cultural memory institutions; and to support in principle the National Aboriginal Library Association (NALA) regarding their stated intent of developing First Nations public libraries on reserves.

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee exists to promote initiatives in all types of libraries to advance reconciliation by supporting the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action and to promote collaboration in these issues across the Canadian library communities.

Procedural Rules


  • The Chair of the Committee will be selected by the CFLA-FCAB board following the association’s Committee Policy, this role has a two-year term limit with an option to continue once at the discretion of the board
  • A liaison from the CFLA-FCAB board as an ex officio member
  • The Vice-Chair will be appointed from among the members of the Committee, this role has a two-year term limit.
  • Members will be selected by the Chair with the goal of representing across the Canadian Library landscape, both geographically and across the profession with preference given to librarians of Indigenous ancestry to prioritize Indigenous voices on Indigenous matters
  • Members must be a member of at least one CFLA-FCAB member organization and will serve on the committee as subject matter experts and not organization representatives
  • At largest this committee will have 10 members. For short-term projects/reports that require additional membership, the committee will follow the process to present a task force to the CFLA-FCAB Board for the establishment for the term of the work.
  • Members selected to serve on the committee have a two-year term.  If they would like to continue to serve additional terms after those two years, they will have to respond to the annual call for members and be selected for membership. There is no limit for consecutive terms as a member of this committee.


The entire committee will meet 10 times a year. Meetings will be via electronic means such as teleconference, or online.

Where needed the parliamentary authority for meetings will be the most recent version of Robert’s Rules.


Minutes of each meeting shall be kept and circulated to the members of the Committee, the committee’s CFLA-FCAB board liaison, and the Chair of the CFLA-FCAB Board of Directors.

Recommendations and Reports

Committee recommendations and reports will be submitted in writing to the CFLA-FCAB Board. Documents will include both suggested action and justification for the recommendations. The Chair of the Indigenous Matters Committee or other designated representative of the Committee will be invited to attend any session during which recommendations pertaining to Indigenous people and/or reports are scheduled to be discussed.

CFLA-FCAB Indigneous Matter Committee Update AGM 2020

Revision of the Mandate

The Committee will review its Terms of Reference every two years and seek appointments/re-appointments from the member associations and may recommend Charter revisions to the CLFA-FCAB Board.

Questions or Comments?

If you have questions, comments, or are interested in participating in this effort, please contact us!