August 3, 2023 – CARL’s Equity Diversity, and Inclusion Working Group has launched a series of monthly features to highlight and celebrate the outstanding work and contributions of Indigenous, Black and racialized library colleagues, those with disabilities, and those of marginalized or minorities genders, sexual identities, religious and cultural groups.
This month we are featuring the work of Ashley Edwards:
Ashley Edwards (she/her)
Indigenous Initiatives and Instruction Librarian, Simon Fraser University
Ashley Edwards is a Métis, Scottish, and Dutch librarian. Her Métis heritage comes from the Red River settlements of Manitoba, where her ancestors were given scrip in the historic Métis community of St. Francis Xavier; she is a citizen of Métis Nation BC. Ashley has a Library Technician diploma and BA in Adult Education from the University of the Fraser Valley, and a Master’s in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta.
Ashley developed the Indigenous Curriculum Resource Centre (ICRC) to support educators who are interested in decolonizing their teaching practices, but are often unsure how to start.
The ICRC is a response to the final report of SFU’s Aboriginal Reconciliation Council, released in 2018. Within the report are 34 Calls to Action for the SFU community to engage in, as a response to the TRC Calls to Action.
The development of the ICRC supports the expressed need and understanding of the importance for educators to decolonize and Indigenize their work.
The ICRC is also a site of decolonizing library practices, specifically classification, as the collection is classified using a locally modified Brian Deer Classification System. This system brings an Indigenous understanding of the world to how knowledge is organized and how topics are related. The classification system is already being used in two additional collections and Indigenous communities are excited by the possibilities the space and resources offer for education.
The library is also finding ways to include orality into the ICRC, in recognition that not all knowledge is found within books, such as the Salish Weave Box Sets: Art and Storytelling project. Through her work and research, Ashley examines decolonizing education, the concept of literature, and Indigenous information literacy.
If you are interested in being featured or nominating someone for this series, please submit your initiative using our online form (you can view the list of questions in advance here). Expressions of interest are encouraged on an ongoing basis. Research or work highlighted can be in any field, and does not need to focus on equity, diversity, inclusion, or other related areas.