Your Thunder Bay Public Library is creating an Indigenous Knowledge Centre at each branch. Although it is still in progress as we are selecting new books and other materials for it and working with the Indigenous Advisory Council and Liaison to design the spaces to include artwork, treaty maps and other key elements, the basic materials are gathered together in one space at each location and you can find some unique and interesting materials there already. It gives space to a multitude of Indigenous voices across the continent by way of essays, novels, music, film, poetry, historical and current social issues, illustration and poetry. Voices that should be better-known and more widely-shared.
For the fiction, drama, music and poetry sections of the collection, we made the decision to stay true to the principal of including only Indigenous and Métis creators. It is important to give a high profile to the many gifted artists and writers and to make it easy for the reader to discover them. We have worked with an Indigenous Liaison and Advisory Committee as well as Indigenous publishers and distributors who can provide the best, recommended titles.
Working on this has been a gift for me as I am discovering so many diverse, interesting and challenging books to read. I am avidly reading my way through the plays of Tomson Highway and Drew Hayden Taylor, everything by Lee Maracle, including her recent thought-provoking book entitled Conversations with Canadians, Richard Wagamese’s poetry, novels and autobiography, writing by local authors such as Ruby Slipperjack and Ma-Nee Chacaby, and poetry by Marilyn Dumont, Louise Halfa and the passionate-voiced Rosanna Deerchild. I can highly recommend all of these and hope that you visit the Indigenous Knowledge Centres and discover the authors and works which speak to you. Visit soon and watch for the official launch of the Indigenous Knowledge Centres to take place this fall during Treaty Week.
Angela Meady – www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!