Libraries' Support Services for Indigenous Research & Scholarship at the University of Manitoba
The University of Manitoba Libraries joined other institutions in North America to take part in an Ithaka S+R research project consisting of an in-depth qualitative analysis of the research practices of Indigenous faculty and researchers. Ithaka S+R provides research and strategic guidance to help the academic and cultural communities serve the public good and navigate economic, technologic, and demographic change.1 This project was guided by an advisory committee of Indigenous and non- Indigenous librarians and scholars. This report outlines the findings at the University of Manitoba, including identifying improvements to existing research support services at the University of Manitoba Libraries and opportunities for developing new services to support Indigenous scholarship. The university has affirmed its commitment to advancing Indigenous research and scholarship, highlighting Indigenous achievement, in the message from President David Barnard, “as a priority, making it a cornerstone of our vision, and weaving it throughout” the strategic plan2. This project is one of the ways the Libraries is contributing to that goal. The report presented here focuses on what we heard, as librarians, from some of the Indigenous researchers in the academy who shared their experience with us. We have included references to some of the work we are doing that reflects the suggestions we heard, but it should not be seen as being a comprehensive list. We do not wish to detract from the voices we heard. We want to refine our services and build on strengths and identify weaknesses based, in part, on the experience and Indigenous perspective shared with us. Through conversations with the researchers, we came to the understanding that we were being gifted with the time and knowledge of each of the participants. We are greatly appreciative of those gifts shared by the Indigenous scholars who agreed to participate. Two pieces of knowledge that were shared by the participants were the importance of community and relationships in their work, and the importance of context in Indigenous research. In keeping with this, this report has been shared with the participants to ensure that their voices are being represented in context and as intended. In addition, because we are in the process of learning from our colleagues and this report summarizes our interpretations of what we learned, we have chosen to write it in a more narrative, rather than an academic style.
Library and Information Science, Research Services, Indigenous Research Methodology