Indigenous Policy & Administration

Code of Ethics

Reference materials 

Use reference materials for background information, or to find good keywords for your search strategy. These are dictionaries, encyclopedias, guides, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts. To find reference materials in the library, in the search box on the library's front page, try searching: public administration and dictionaries, or indigenous policy and bibliographies, etc.

Refresh your search skills - developing a good search strategy is important!


  • what is your assignment?
  • what is the main topic?
  • what aspect of the topic is of interest to you?
  • who has an interest in that topic?
  • what other language might they be using to talk about that topic? do they spell it differently?
  • when was it relevant? is it a new idea, or a long standing issue?
  • what other factors play into your issue? climate, population, government, geography, etc.
  • and each new discover may mean you need to restart your search process

Sample search terms:

  • Indigenous (or Aboriginal or Indian or Native or First Nations or Inuit or Métis) 
  • assimilation
  • dispossession
  • Residential School System
  • activism
  • treaty rights
  • policy / policies

Once you've decided which terms are the most useful for your search, combine them in a boolean search. For example:

  • activism AND canad* AND "indian act"
    • the * will look for alternate endings
    • the quotes will keep the words together
    • AND/OR will modify a component to narrow or expand your results
  • Some filters to consider applying are:  books, or Journals, or Scholarly and/or Peer Review
    • If you need immediate results, select 'Available online' so that you only see available results.
    • If you are working on a literature review, then do not restrict your results this way, and include 'Add resources beyond Carleton's collection'. 
    • You can then narrow your search further by:  Publication Date or Discipline or Subject, etc.
  • watch for any other words that are being used in your results, for example, the time frame may dictate whether Indigenous or Aboriginal or Indian is being used - search all of them


  • the library's Map collection on the first floor has a collection of Indigenous maps, both paper and electronic
  • you may choose to develop some skill with GIS and create your own map using your research data, or other data that may be available online
  • Map Room - INAC
  • National Atlas of Canada - Aboriginal Peoples circa 1630, 1740 and 1823 - Ethnohistorical societies are classified into major linguistic families and mapped using graduated circles (to represent their estimated population).

Borrowing from Other Libraries

  • RACER is our online Interlibrary Loan system.  Use it to search for and order books, journal articles, and other items that you can't find in our collection.   Journal articles will be sent to you electronically.   For more information please see Interlibrary Loans. You can also Borrow directly from other libraries.
  • CRL catalog (Center for Research Libraries): Collects research materials not targeted by other North American research institutions. We are a member which allows you long-term loans of much of their material.
  • WorldCat: Search the library catalogues of 1000's of libraries around the world.

Citing and Citation Management tools

We offer a variety of support options for citing your sources and citation management.  If you are not already using a citation management tool, I strongly suggest you look into one now. Most of these tools will also allow you to turn your references into properly formatted bibliographies, and with additional plug-ins they can allow you to easily insert your citations into your papers as you write.

Other aids for writing

You can also search for Academic writing or Dissertation writing in the Library's search box.

A sample of relevant databases:

Databases Specific to Indigenous Studies:

For historical digitization projects use

Good to know:

  1. Use RSS Feeds or create alerts. Search Alerts can be set once you're logged into Omni's My Library Account as well as in most databases. They can help researchers stay current with automatic e-mail alerts.
  2. Within a database, limit your search to scholarly articles when it is appropriate to disregard other resources.
  3. Never limit to full-text only as we may subscribe to the journal you find from another vendor.  Use the Get it! icon to search for the full text when it is not immediately available.

What is a Literature Review?

​A literature review is both a summary and an explanation of the complete and current state of knowledge on a narrowed topic as found in academic books and journal articles.

What are the Purposes of a Literature Review?

  • situate your work in its discipline/area/subfield 
  • develop an understanding of how knowledge in your discipline/field/area has changed over time
  • develop mastery of what's known in your area, and part of the larger discipline that contains it
  • compare different conceptual or sub-disciplinary approaches to your topic
  • compare and contrast different theoretical schools or leading researchers in your area
  • identify methodologies that you might use in your work

Types of Literature Reviews

Keep Track of your searches

Search for pre-existing literature reviews

Some databases include "literature review" as one of the limit options you can set before or after doing your search: your search will retrieve only literature reviews. PsycInfo allows for this under Advanced Search.

However in most databases, you will have to add a term for "literature review" to your search. Search terms that may be helpful:

  • review article
  • systematic review
  • critical review
  • literature
  • bibliography
  • meta-analysis, meta analysis 
  • re-analysis of data

Guides to literature reviews


Jump to: Public Policy | News | Government | Financial Info | Organizations

Grey literature is an important source of information for research in public policy that: 

  • adds a valuable global perspective
  • provides detailed overviews on specific populations
  • may be only source of local information

Grey literature is defined as "information produced on all levels of government, academics, business and industry in electronic and print formats not controlled by commercial publishing" ie. where publishing is not the primary activity of the producing body." —ICGL Luxembourg definition, 1997. Expanded in New York, 2004


Policy Reports and Working Papers

News & Current Events

Indigenous Media & News Sources

Search for news from individual nations:

Further sources can be found in the News guide as well as well as tips for searching.

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Government Information 

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Financial information

Organizations, Research Institutes, Associations

Search for organizations that represent one nation or multiple nations.

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Jump to: Health Sources

Treaties, Agreements, Land Claims, Legislation and Commissions

Note: don't forget to look for information within each province as well

Non-Government Bodies

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Health Sources

Library guides

Government Bodies


Non-Government Bodies

Note: there are a broad variety of organizations doing research on Indigenous health. This is a very small selection of websites.

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What is the Difference Between Data and Statistics?

Data are the raw materials out of which statistics are produced, usually available as digital files for manipulation in statistical software.  Statistics are facts or figures that tend to be aggregate counts, totals, sums, or averages.


Use the Data Services searches to find data holdings for Indigenous related data. Census data from 1871 onwards are available in <odesi>

Qualitative Research at Carleton University

NVivo is qualitative data analysis software to help researchers organize and analyze data, identify trends, and cross examine information in a variety of ways. 

Sage Research Methods supports researchers throughout a research project, from writing a research question, choosing a method, gathering and analyzing data, to writing up and publishing the findings.

SPSS and Stata

The library offers a statistical consulting service to help students, faculty and other researchers in the Carleton University community with their questions regarding quantitative data. 


Canada - Federal

Canadian Non-Governmental Bodies

United States

Content last reviewed: April 6, 2021