First Nations

All SOLS services are available to First Nation public libraries. In addition, SOLS offers specialized assistance, which includes:

  • organizing Gatherings of First Nation libraries, sometimes in joint meetings with northern counterparts
  • consulting with band councils, education departments, and First Nation public libraries directly on issues related to their specific library services
  • co-ordinating the successful First Nation Communities Read program (through which a jury selects an annual title by Indigenous creators published in Canada, leading to increased sales and touring)
  • Assisting OLS-North and First Nation librarians in organizing and promoting First Nations Public Library Week
  • co-ordinating occasional one-time special grants or initiatives funded by the ministry responsible for public libraries
  • participating in the province-wide Strategic Action Group which examines initiatives and future direction for First Nation library service, and liaises with organizations with similar interests, such as the Ontario Library Association. 

Through its dedicated First Nations consultant, Nancy Cooper, who is a member of Rama First Nation, SOLS also provides resources and guidance to municipal libraries serving off-reserve First Nation populations, and other organizations with an interest in literacy and access to reading materials. In conjunction with OLS-North, SOLS also manages the Club Amick program, which selects and delivers age and culturally appropriate new books to children in remote northern communities. 

The Professional Resources pages in Learn HQ has a page dedicated to First Nations which includes links to resources of interest to anyone who follows Indigenous materials and programming. 

Please contact Nancy Cooper for advice or assistance on First Nations matters.

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The support of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport is gratefully acknowledged.