BC SRC Serving First Nations Children and Communities

This resource page grew out of a 2019 BCLA Conference session: BC SRC Serving First Nations Children and Communities. During the session, a panel of four representatives from three libraries gathered to discuss the successes, challenges, and evolution of serving First Nations children and communities through BC SRC. The topics touched on included: relevancy, factors in participation, partnerships, funding, adaptations, creating positions and policy to increase relevancy and engagement, training. Each of these topics could, of course, have filled an entire session. The panel included:

The panel members have generously agreed to share some of the resources they have developed within their communities. In addition, we have included the slide show from the session, as well as a video recording of the session, for those of you who were unable to join us. We hope you will help us continue to build this page of resources.

Our starting place:

  • we agree and understand that First Nations’ guidance and participation is essential to building inclusive and respectful SRC programs
  • we understand that guidance and participation comes after we have established trusting relationships, after we have learned from our communities, and after we have learned from our successes and mistakes
  • we understand that this process is a journey and we are taking the first steps of the journey

Resources

2019 BCLA Conference session

Relevancy
Speaking Notes: Laurette Lapalme (HDPL)

Participation & Partnerships
Speaking Notes: Beth Dimond (PRL)

Adaptations

Training

Creating Positions & Policy 
Speaking Notes: Wendy Wright

Questions? Resources to share? Please feel welcome to contact the BC SRC Provincial Coordinator, Cynthia Ford (bcsrc@bclibrary.ca) or one of our panel members:

Ruth Cooper (hdpl.ruth@citywest.ca) has been with the Hazelton District Public Library, located on unceded Gitxsan territory, for over 25 years. She has been involved with every aspect of library work from watering the plants to serving as Acting Librarian. She currently co-ordinates the Summer Reading Clubs, takes care of the non-fiction collection, co-ordinates the Fostering Literacy Program, and acts as the library’s community literacy liaison. Her passion is patron service in all its diversity.

Beth Dimond (beth@princerupertlibrary.ca) has worked in the Children’s Department of the Prince Rupert Public Library for more than 35 years, and is always thrilled to welcome newcomers, whether two or eighty-two, to the library. Born and raised on the north coast, she feels very fortunate to live and work surrounded by the rich cultural heritage of the Tsimshian, Haida and Nisgaa people. She is excited that this rich heritage is becoming more accessible to the general public, and libraries in particular. Beth is continually looking for ways the library can connect with families and individuals within her community, as well as those living in the outlying communities beyond her city’s harbour.

Laurette Lapalme (hdpl.laurette@citywest.ca) belongs to the Witsuwit’en Nation, and has worked for the Hazelton District Public Library off and on since 1988, and has been a steady part of the staff for the last four years. Part of her post-secondary education involved First Nations Library training in tandem with training to become a curator for a First Nations museum. This is of particular note since she had the privilege of traveling to and working with several First Nations organizations all across the province of BC. She has worked in many different fields, but has devoted most of her life to working in the Hazelton area focusing on Culture and Tourism. She is extremely interested in adding to the energy being devoted toward Truth and Reconciliation, and in providing First Nations people a recognized and appreciated part of our local library via the promotion of our special collections.

Wendy Wright (director@smitherslibrary.ca) serves as Director of the Smithers Public Library on the unceded territory of the Witsuwit’en Nation in northwestern BC, and as a Director-at-Large on the BCLA Board. Wendy has always loved connecting people with stories, ideas, and information in various formats and enjoys creating dynamic opportunities for people to learn from one another. 

In 2017 the Smithers Public Library was honoured with the British Columbia Library Association’s inaugural Building Better Communities Award for its work around local National Aboriginal Day celebrations. In 2018 the Library’s Board received the Super Trustees Award from the British Columbia Library Trustees Association for empowering the library to advance reconciliation in its community through policies, programs, events, and collections.