FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – Library technicians have been chipping away at updating School District 60’s library catalogue to remove outdated terminology when referencing Indigenous peoples.
Superintendent Stephen Petrucci says library and classroom materials will be edited when necessary with terms that are current and respectful.
“As you can imagine, in the past, there were a number of different terms that were used, and so we’re making sure that our literature and resources reflect those updates,” said Petrucci.
One example given in the November edition of Petrucci’s report is removing the Library of Congress’ subject heading “Indians of North America” and replacing it with “Indigenous peoples.”
“We are also working on removing Anglicized names for Indigenous peoples and replacing them with the currently accepted terms, like replacing ‘Okanagan Indians’ with ‘Syilx’ and removing ‘Indians’ from subject headings like ‘Suquamish Indians’,” said the report.
The district wants to ensure that the resources and content are appropriate and are aligned with Truth and Reconciliation initiatives seen across the country as much as possible, says Petrucci.
The district reviews other resources, including band websites and academic writings, as a source for the changes. Standardized alternatives to Library of Congress subject headings have also been developed by the Greater Vancouver Public Library and the Association of Manitoba Archives.
Districts across the province have taken guidance details provided by the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Truth and Reconciliation Committee.
Petrucci says the district is making a huge effort to indigenize content to include the First Peoples Principles of Learning for new resources and curriculum.