Trustees bring a diversity of experiences, skills, knowledge, and questions to public library board work. Board policies and practices vary across the province and BCLTA is focused on common issues of common concern for board development. Your board chair, your library director, and BCLTA all have a role in helping you find further resources specific to your needs. The Libraries Branch staff are available for all questions regarding the Library Act.
Your board reconciliation discussions might cover a wide range of topics such as:
- Reconciliation as a government priority, provincially and locally.
- Reconciliation as an individual and organizational journey.
- Board participation in library and local reconciliation initiatives.
- Board relationships with local First Nations and Indigenous organizations.
- Board strategic direction and expected outcomes that inform library operations for furthering reconciliation such as partnerships, programs, space design, and collections.
- Supporting the library director so that they are successful with their day-to-day work of managing and overseeing library operations for reconciliation.
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
- Resources, program partnerships, and reconciliation updates.
- Cultural Awareness Training for non-Indigenous people.
- Provides training on Indigenous relations
- Weaving Reconciliation into Your Meetings, posted November 13, 2019
- Matthew Robert Anderson, The Conversation, October 30, 2019
- Thoughtful writing on the purpose and meaning of land acknowledgements
BC Provincial Government
On October 24, 2019, the Province of BC announced new legislation that will put BC laws in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Please see a A New Path Forward which provides an overview of what this means for reconciliation in BC and a Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People’s Actfact sheet
From A New Path Forward:
New legislation will put B.C. laws in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This is a historic moment for everyone in B.C.
B.C.’s new law recognizes and respects the human rights of Indigenous peoples and will help to build a stronger B.C.
It makes sure Indigenous peoples are a part of the decisions that affect them, their families and their territories. It provides a way forward on reconciliation with a plan that will work for everyone in B.C.
Indigenous peoples and the B.C. government are building a better future, together. That means good jobs and opportunities that benefit all, while protecting the land, air and water.
Other significant reconciliation documents:
- Reconciliation is a priority in Minister Mandate Letters, Service Plans, and in the Province of British Columbia Strategic Plan 2018-2022.
- The Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliationis specifically mandated to lead reconciliation with First Nations and Indigenous peoples in BC.
- Draft Principles that Guide the Province of British Columbia’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples
Official Community Plan
- Consult your community’s OCP for where reconciliation initiatives that the public library might be part of would further the goals of the OCP.
- Check out your school district’s reconciliation planning.
- Ministry of Education Service Plan and Calls to Action.
- The BC School Trustees Association 2019/22 Strategic Plan Summary highlights their work with support school boards with Indigenous education and truth and reconciliation.
The Union of BC Municipalities
- Supports local government reconciliation efforts with the Community to Community Forum and with resources in their Reconciliation and Relationships
The Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Canadian Federation of Library Associations
- The Truth and Reconciliation Report
- Recommendations for how the library and archive community can support the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Calls to Action.
From the website:
Let’s Talk About Reconciliation is the title of a series of dialogues associated with the screening of a film made by an Indigenous artist, and organized by public libraries across Canada. This three-year project (2018-2021) is the result of a partnership among the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the National Film Board of Canada, Library and Archives Canada, the Canadian Federation of Library Associations’ Indigenous Matters Committee, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and your local library.
From the website:
This course will help you envision how Indigenous histories, perspectives, worldviews, and approaches to learning can be made part of the work we do in classrooms, organizations, communities, and our everyday experiences in ways that are thoughtful and respectful. In this course, reconciliation emphasizes changing institutional structures, practices, and policies, as well as personal and professional ideologies to create environments that are committed to strengthening our relationships with Indigenous peoples.
- Includes tools and resources developed by the CFLA Indigenous Matters Commitee
- Overview of library initiatives and resources.
Reconciling Communities: Planting Seeds of Change through Cultural Education and Truth-telling, American Library Association, November 2017
- Wendy Wright, Library Director, Smithers Public Library
- Link to archived recording available through the above link
Reconciliation reading lists:
BC Public Libraries in Action
Organizations value and assess what they state as important. The following is a small survey of BC Public library board documents that include reconciliation:
North Vancouver City Library
- NVCL StrategicPlan 2018 2021
- This strategic plan fits with the CFLA Reconciliation Report and Recommendations and importantly heeds the TRC Calls to Action.
- Introduction from the Board Chair and Library Director begins with land acknowledgement:
We are grateful to work and live on the unceded and traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples and the sḵwx̱ wú7mesh (Squamish) and səl̓ ílwətaʔɬ(Tsleil-Waututh) nations.
- Honour Indigenous Perspectives is one of the four strategic priorities and includes a commitment, to “Train staff and trustees about Indigenous history and experience, and the principles of reconciliation”.
Squamish Public Library
- 2016 Annual Report
- In the section that reports on Reaching Everyone “Truth and Reconciliation Initiatives” is at the top of the list.
Vancouver Island Regional Library
- Strategic Plan 2016-2020
- “Reaching out to Aboriginal communities to address their unique needs” is in the plan for meeting“Principle 1: Community”.
- 2017 Annual Report
- Includes reporting out to the community on VIRL reconciliation initiatives.
Vancouver Public Library
- Truth and Reconciliation at Vancouver Public Library
- Note the “Progress to Date” reports to the board.
West Vancouver Memorial Library
- 2017 Annual Report
- The report from cover through to content reflects reconciliation as a strategic priority.
Contact BCLTA to add your resources, templates, or policies to this Discussion Starter.