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Indigenous Studies

Indigenous Studies is an interdisciplinary field grounded in the languages, histories, geographies, and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples


χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection

χʷəχʷéy̓əm means Oral Storytelling in hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓, the language of the Kwantlen, Katzie, Tsawwassen, Kwikwetlem, and Musqueam First Nations on whose traditional territories our University is built.  The name was gifted by Sesmelot (Fern Gabriel,) a respected language teacher and consultant from Kwantlen First Nation. The χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection features Indigenous material by Indigenous authors emphasizing the importance of Indigenous Peoples telling their own stories. Please listen to our virtual recordings of the hən̓q̓əmin̓əm̓ words used on campus, including  χʷəχʷéy̓əm. The recording publication was organized under the leadership of Len Pierre from Katzie First Nation.

Stylized eagle designThe beautiful Eagle design on the χʷəχʷéy̓əm signage and the pole wraps used throughout the library were created by Roxanne Charles from Semiahmoo First Nation.

The  χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection is located at all four of Kwantlen Polytechnic University's Campus Libraries. View photos of the collection launch at Surrey campus library. At the Surrey campus, the collection is located in Library (Arbutus building), on the first floor near the elevators. At the Richmond, Langley, and Cloverdale campus libraries, the collection is located right at the entrance of the library.

Please watch the video recording on the development of the χʷəχʷéy̓əm Indigenous Collection to learn more about the thought and process behind the space.

χʷəχʷéy̓əm Art

Dancer Fabric

Jennifer Lamont of Metis Nation designed the beautiful upholstery used on the seating in this space.  As a Wilson School of Design student, she developed an inclusive design that features a pow wow dancer surrounded by a floral motif. The vibrant colours bring a uplifting energy to the space.


The space also features four display boxes that regularly house χpey̓əɬp (cedar) weavings, but may also include special displays.

Kwantlen Art

The art piece titled “Kwantlen” by Susan Sparrow Point of Musqueam First Nation features stylized Salmon. This art piece was generously gifted by Jim Cohoon, family of long-time employee Doug Cohoon who worked in Facilities before retiring.

Brian Deer Indigenous Classification

Brian Deer was a Kahnawake Mohawk Librarian who developed the first Indigenous library classification system in Canada in the 1970's. The system has since been adopted by Indigenous-focused collections, such as the X̱wi7x̱wa Library at the University of British Columbia. Brian Deer focuses on Indigenous ways of knowing and relating to the world. The classification structure centers relationship and land, taking a more geographic, community-based approach than the Library of Congress system typically used at academic libraries. 

At Kwantlen Polytechnic University, we are very privileged to be working with a localized version of Brian Deer Classification. KPU Library's version is adapted from SFU Library's Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre Classification by Metis Librarian, Ashley Edwards. All the material in the χʷƏχʷe ỷƏm Indigenous Collection have been organized with our localized version of Edward's Brian Deer, the χʷƏχʷe ỷƏm Indigenous Collection Classification Scheme [PDF]