Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Canadian Association of Law Libraries Conference Resolutions on Diversity and Reconciliation With Indigenous Canadians

The Canadian Association of Law Libraries has adopted two resolutions dealing with diversity and reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.

The resolutions were adopted earlier today at the CALL annual conference being held in Halifax.

The first resolution dealt with diversity and inclusion.

Here is the full text:

Resolution 2018/1
  • Whereas research indicates that diversity enhances organizational decision-making, creativity, and other positive organizational outcomes and activities, and inclusion is increasingly recognized as a necessary companion to diversity;
  • Whereas the diversity and representational composition and activities of the Association and the Canadian law librarianship profession are not known to reflect or give voice to the diversity of related professions or the Canadian population;
  • Whereas the Objects of the Association include to develop and increase the usefulness of Canadian law libraries and to foster a spirit of co-operation among them, and the Association aspires to provide a forum for the exchange of information and ideas among members, and libraries are considered to exhibit values of inclusiveness and exchange of ideas;
  • and Whereas law libraries may be centers for curation and sharing of knowledge and so are well-positioned to foster support of the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada,

BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Association adopt the following statements to guide the business and activities of the Association in furtherance of its Objects:
  • The Association commits to work to foster diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in its activities as appropriate; and
  • The Association will work to foster awareness and acumen about issues of diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in law library environments and the law librarianship profession as appropriate, and as these intersect with the environments of related professions.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED THAT the Association will carry out this work through partnerships and collaborations with its Diversity, Inclusion and Decolonization Committee and other Association units by undertaking activities that include but are not limited to the following:
  • work to ensure consideration is given to diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in the review and interpretation of conference programming pathways, including those regarding cataloguing, metadata, instruction, leadership, management, professionalism, research, reference, and substantive law;
  • work to ensure program topic and speaker selections are informed by consideration of diversity, inclusion, and decolonization matters;  work to ensure membership recruitment efforts are informed by consideration of diversity, inclusion, and decolonization principles; and
  • work to address diversity, inclusion, and decolonization matters in law librarianship and related fields.
The 2nd resolution was related to recommendations from the Truth and Reconciliation Committee of the Canadian Federation of Library Association of which CALL is part.

Here is the full text of that resolution:

Resolution 2018/2

Whereas libraries are committed to respect and inclusiveness for the communities they serve, and
Whereas the Association is a member of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations-Fédération canadienne des associations de bibliothèques [“CFLA-FCAB”].

Be it resolved that the Association supports the following recommendations contained at pages 6-7 of the CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee Report & Recommendations:
  1. As CFLA-FCAB is a national voice with the ability to influence national and international policy regarding issues of importance, we request the CFLA-FCAB create a permanent Standing Committee on Indigenous Matters utilizing the medicine wheel framework developed by the Truth & Reconciliation Committee (page 16).
  2. The T&R Committee supports and endorses the CFLA-FCAB Position Statement on Library and Literacy Services for Indigenous (First Nations, Métis and Inuit) Peoples of Canada (page 55).
  3. Encourage libraries, archives and cultural memory institutions to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada 94 Calls to Action, several of which have been identified as having a direct impact on libraries and archives and are prioritized in this report, and to implement a status report on a yearly basis to monitor their implementation (pages 18-27).
  4. Ensure accessibility moving forward by continually reminding stakeholders that material produced and programming planned in the future should be accessible to all Canadians. CELA (the Centre for Equitable Library Access) and NNELS (the National Network for Equitable Library Service) are positioned to support these efforts (page 17).
  5. Decolonize Access and Classification by addressing the structural biases in existing schemes of knowledge organization and information retrieval arising from colonialism by committing to integrating Indigenous epistemologies into cataloguing praxis and knowledge management (pages 34-35).
  6. Decolonize Libraries and Space by recognizing and supporting Indigenous cultures, languages and knowledges through culturally appropriate space planning, interior design, signage, art installations, territorial acknowledgements of geographic-specific traditional territories and public programming in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders (pages 40-41).
  7. Enhance opportunities for Indigenous library, archival and information professionals as well as the inclusion of Indigenous epistemologies in the Canadian library and archives profession through culturally appropriate pedagogy, recruitment practices, professional and continuing education and cross-cultural training in collaboration with local Indigenous stakeholders and partners (pages 37-38, 40-41).
  8. Recommend the implementation of Indigenous Knowledge Protection protocols and agreements with local and other Indigenous groups who have holdings in libraries, archives and/or cultural memory institutions to respect the Indigenous cultural concept of copyright with regard to Indigenous history or heritage, which is often located in but not limited to oral traditions, songs, dance, storytelling, anecdotes, place names, hereditary names and other forms of Indigenous knowledges; recommend that CFLA-FCAB actively participate in reforming the Canadian Copyright Act to include protection of Indigenous knowledges and languages while advocating for changes to include traditional knowledge as outlined and recommended by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) – Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore (http://www.wipo.int/tk/en/igc/). We join the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in calling upon Library and Archives Canada to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action #69 (Appendix D) by fully implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) http://www.un.org/esa/socdev/unpfii/documents/DRIPS_en.pdf and the Updated Set of Principles for the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights through Action to Combat Impunity (2005), more commonly known as the Joinet/Orentlicher Principles http://www.derechos.org/nizkor/impu/principles.html (pages 34-35).
  9. Establish an online database of “living documents” to highlight existing Best Practices of Indigenous Services in libraries, archives, and cultural memory institutions that will serve as a foundation to help disseminate those best practices and for this “living document” to be updated preferably on a quarterly basis but minimally semi-annually (pages 13-14).
  10. Maintain a database of Indigenous organizations or groups committed to preserving cultural memory primarily, but not limited to, libraries, archives, language preservation, cultural history/museums to build relationships; to support the development of an Indigenous association of library, archives and cultural memory institutions; and to support in principle the National Aboriginal Library Association (NALA) regarding their stated intent of developing First Nations public libraries on reserves (pages 16-17).

And be it further resolved that the Association encourages law library professionals to undertake the following activities described in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action:

  • Support and promote equity for Aboriginal People in the legal system through the development, use, and understanding of Indigenous laws and access to justice in accordance with the unique cultures of Aboriginal peoples in Canada (Calls to Action 50-52).
  • Support the implementation between the federal government and Aboriginal peoples of a Royal Proclamation of Reconciliation that would reaffirm the nation-to-nation relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Crown. This proclamation would renounce the colonization of Indigenous lands and peoples; adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; support forward-looking respectful and responsible Treaty relationships; and reconcile Aboriginal and Crown constitutional and legal orders (Call to Action 45).
  • Support the parties of the Residential Schools Settlement Agreement in the development of a Covenant of Reconciliation which would:
    • reaffirm the parties’ commitment to reconciliation;
    • renounce the justification, laws, and policies of European sovereignty over Indigenous lands and peoples;
    • support the adoption and implementation of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation;
    • support forward-looking respectful and responsible Treaty relationships; and
    • enable new signatories to the Covenant of Reconciliation (Call to Action 46).

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 2:03 pm


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