Reconciliation Toolkit for Non-Indigenous Archives in Canada

Project Introduction

The Canadian Council of Archives’ Archives Advisory Services Working Group (AASWG) has compiled this toolkit of resources for use by non-Indigenous archival institutions and archivists in Canada that are working with, or hope to work with, First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities and their documentary heritage. This toolkit is meant to complement the work of the Steering Committee for the TRC Taskforce, which is compiling resources to assist Indigenous communities developing their archives.

The AASWG’s hope is that the resources in this toolkit will help non-Indigenous members of the archival community develop knowledge and new understandings that will guide them toward building respectful and reciprocal relationships with their local First Nations, Inuit, and Métis colleagues and communities. We also hope the resources in this toolkit will encourage archives to begin putting the Reconciliation Framework into action within their archives.


The resources included in this toolkit are by no means comprehensive and are not intended to be – this is just a starting place for non-Indigenous archives and archivists on the journey toward reconciliation. We also recognize there are many gaps in regional representation within the resources listed. The AASWG hopes to address this over time.

The AASWG will endeavour to maintain the accuracy of the resources and digital links to the best of our ability. If there is a broken link, an additional or updated resource that you think should be added, or would like your link removed, please contact the AAWG: aaswg[at] You can also suggest a resource to add to the toolkit using a short online form.

Please note that some resources use language and terminology that is outdated or not preferred in all regions, provinces, territories, or Indigenous communities.

How to Use this Toolkit

For clarity, we have chosen to label resources with provincial and territorial place names in accordance with the names of our associations and councils. If a resource is from a specific province or territory, the name of that province or territory is included in brackets beside the title of the resource. Resources that are national or international in scope are labeled by country.

Themes are listed alphabetically, and the resources therein are organized by province or territory from west to east (Yukon to Newfoundland) followed by national and international resources. Most resources can be found online but some are only available in print or as physical media.

Many Thanks

The AAWG would like to thank the Council of Provincial and Territorial Archivists for their encouragement and support for this project.

  • Mississaugas of the Credit - "Historical Territory Resource and Land Use" (Ontario)
    The intent of this brochure is to outline the general history of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation from the time before contact with Europeans in the early 1600s to the time of settlement in the mid-1800s, onto the present Mississauga of the New Credit Reserve in southern Ontario. The contents of this brochure provide information on the historical way of life of ancestors of the Mississaugas of the New Credit from the 1600s to the 1800s.
  • Researching Indigenous histories in Simcoe County (Ontario)
    Primarily an introduction to archival records and collections that relate to Indigenous persons and communities in Simcoe County. The focus is primarily resources available at the Simcoe County Archives, but links and direction to relevant resources from other institutions are also included.
  • Beaton Institute, Cape Breton University, Guide to the Mi'kmaw Holdings at the Beaton Institute (Nova Scotia)
    Created in 2011 and available in both English and Mi'kmaw, the Beaton Institute's online guide is intended to help researchers locate materials within their holdings about the five Mi'kmaw communities of Unama'ki – materials that are both diverse in format and dispersed across many fonds and collections.
  • Nova Scotia Archives, Mi'kmaq Holdings Resource Guide (Nova Scotia)
    This finding aid provides digital access to the many records about the Mi'kmaq and settler-Indigenous relations in the holdings of the Nova Scotia Archives, the majority of which were produced by Crown and government officials. Notable among their holdings are the Peace and Friendship Treaties, which have been digitized and transcribed on their website.
  • The Mi’kmaq of Nova Scotia Archives Collection at the Mi'kmaw Native Friendship Centre, curated by Dr. Trudy Sable (Nova Scotia)
    The MNFC Archives was first established to return Dr. Trudy Sable's interviews and research materials back to the Mi’kmaw communities, individuals, and families involved in her research. The Archives' broader goal is to further public knowledge of Mi’kmaw history and culture through the first-hand experiences of Mi'kmaq and promote the wellbeing of future generations. All of the interviews offered in the collection were approved to be shared by the individual interviewee or surviving family members.


  • Uncommon Bonds: Labrador Inuit and Moravian Missionaries 2023 (Newfoundland and Labrador)
    A three year partnership between the Nunatsiavut Government, Moravian Archives (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania), Moravian Church in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University Libraries and the National Heritage Digitization Strategy focussing on the digitization and digital return of nearly 60,000 pages of archival resources concerning Labrador Inuit. This website is intended to help with the interpretation of these record as well as the broad range of digitized records resulting from contact between Labrador Inuit and Moravian missionaries.
  • Term Circles: Using Linked Data as a Tool to Mitigate Colonial Subject Bias (Canada)
    This paper outlines the difficulty involved in decolonizing metadata from within a colonial institution that represents a colonial worldview. It compares general characteristics of Western and Indigenous worldviews and considers the affect that these perspectives have on the organization of knowledge and information especially in relation to a controlled subject vocabulary. The paper considers examples from library metadata but is applicable to archives metadata as well.
  • Proposed Policy: Editorial Guide for Indigenous Entity Descriptions in SNAC (Canada)
    This proposed guide could be helpful to archives supporting descriptions of Indigenous entities.
  • Imagining: Creating Spaces for Indigenous Ontologies by Marisa Elena Duarte & Miranda Belarde-Lewis (Canada)
    The decolonizing methodology of imagining provides one way that knowledge organization practitioners and theorists can acknowledge and discern the possibilities of Indigenous community-based approaches to the development of alternative information structures.
  • National Indigenous Knowledge & Language Alliance: Respectful Terminology Platform Project (Canada)
    NIKLA is building an open and online platform that will enable a dynamic, multilingual set of terminologies applied to Indigenous Peoples, places, heritage, tradition, knowledge and cultures. These terminologies and vocabularies would replace outdated and inappropriate terminologies used currently in cultural memory sectors such as museums, libraries, archives centers and galleries.
  • Digital Ethics and Reconciliation in Libraries and Archives (Canada)
    This report explores ethical issues related to digital libraries and the curation of digital objects that have been co-created with Indigenous communities. This may include faculty research data, archival materials, or digitized materials. Based on extensive consultation with Indigenous researchers, research partners, libraries, and archives, the report contains recommendations and guiding principles for libraries and archives that are working in allyship with Indigenous communities.
  • Archival Decolonist Blog (Canada)
    A blog written by Nathan Sentance, a Wiradjuri man from the Mowgee clan in Darkinjung Country, New South Wales, Australia. His posts cast a critical gaze on the GLAM sectors (gallaries, archives, libraries, and museums) with topics ranging from references and bibliographies to the myth of the neutrality of museums, libraries, and archives.
  • Unarchived-National Film Board of Canada Film 2022 (Canada)
    In community archives across British Columbia, local knowledge keepers are hand-fashioning a more inclusive history. Through a collage of personal interviews, archival footage and deeply rooted memories, the past, present and future come together, fighting for a space where everyone is seen and everyone belongs. History is what we all make of it.
  • Society of American Archivists, Native American Archives Section (NAAS) webinar: Implementing Reparative Description for Indigenous Collections" (United States)
    Webinar includes discussion and Q&A on the topic of how to implement reparative description for Indigenous collections.
  • Identifying & Dismantling White Supremacy in Archives Poster (United States)
    This poster (found under the tab, "Against White Supremacy") includes a series of calls-to-action for archives and archivists to begin to uncover and dismantle the white privilege embedded in the structure and practices of archives.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.
Click edit button to change this text. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Contact Us

You can reach members of the AASWG via email: aaswg[at]

Alternatively, you can reach out to the Archives Advisors and designated individuals that contributed this project. Their contact information can be found their on association’s or council’s website: