Libraries are steeped in colonization: They prioritize written information, which contradicts Indigenous oral traditions; they organize information in ways that oppose Indigenous cultural worldviews; and they undermine the role of Indigenous elders, who are traditional knowledge keepers in tribal nations. In Minnesota, library staff who aspire to hold their workplaces accountable for historic and ongoing harm are engaging in reconciliation work. Reconciliation aims to foster healing and to repair harm that the library has inflicted upon the Indigenous community. This work includes providing educational support for library staff; building relationships between libraries and Indigenous community partners; and creating opportunities for library staff to understand the role settler colonialism has played throughout library history and continues to play today. Session attendees will learn practical information about these efforts.
Participants will be able to define the concepts of colonization and reconciliation, as well as identify examples of colonization from their own institutions.
Participants will be able to analyze how their institution's current services do or do not support reconciliation.
Participants will be able to imagine and articulate new ways their institutions can support reconciliation work.