This guide is designed for graduate students in the School of Public Policy and Administration, though anyone doing research on Indigenous Peoples may find help here. If you need further assistance, get in touch! I am available by email as well as for virtual meetings.
Code of Ethics
- OCAP - First Nations control data collection processes in their communities as well as how their information is used. Visit the web page of the First Nations Information Governance Centre (FNIGC) to learn more. The University of British Columbia has an excellent guide to Indigenous Research Methodology: Research Ethics.
- TCPS 2 - Chapter 9 - guide to research Involving the First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples of Canada from the Panel on Research Ethics.
USAI Research Framework - developed by the Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC) - a guide to all Aboriginal research projects conducted by the OFIFC and the urban Aboriginal communities, in which the OFIFC is involved.
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.
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
- Some suggested subject headings or keyword search terms:
- Indigeneous (or Aboriginal or Indian or Native or First Nations or Inuit or Métis)
- Residential School System
- 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
- activism AND canad* AND "indian act"
- 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 to get 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.
- Citing your sources
- Citation management tools
- Tours and workshops on citation management tools.
- Citing Data & Statistics
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:
- America History & Life
- Anthropology Plus
- Business Source Complete
- Canadian Business and Current Affairs
- Emerald Management eJournals
- PAIS Index
- Google Scholar - recommended for graduate level research. Access Google Scholar through the library's link when off-campus. It allows immediate access to journals subscribed to by Carleton. Search Tips for Google Scholar
Databases Specific to Indigenous Studies:
- Bibliography of Native North Americans
- First Nations Periodical Index
- Indigenous Peoples: North America
- Indigenous Studies Portal
- Nunavik Bibliography
- Nunavuk Social History (UBC) Use this index to identify sources and then access them through the Carleton University Library.
For historical digitization projects use
- Aboriginal Research Resources from the University of Saskatchewan
- Canadiana Online
- Internet Archive
- Peels Prairie Provinces
Good to know:
- Use RSS Feeds or Create Alerts to have citations sent to you as a database is updated.
- Within a database, limit your search to scholarly articles when it is appropriate to disregard other resources.
- 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. Other search terms that may be helpful:
- review article
- systematic review
- critical review
- meta-analysis, meta analysis
- re-analysis of data
Guides to literature reviews
- The Literature Review: A Few Tips on Conducting It - University of Toronto
- Conducting a Literature Review - Georgetown University Medical Centre
- Literature Review - Deakin University Library
- Learn to Write a Review of Literature - University of Wisconsin - Madison
- Guidelines for Writing a Literature Review - University of Minnesota, Duluth
- Get Lit: The Literature Review - Texas A&M University Writing Center
- Literature Reviews: Common Errors Made When Conducting a Literature Review - Walden's Center for Research Quality
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
- Grey Literature Guide
- Omni (change Content Type to types of grey literature such as government documents, conference proceedings etc.)
- Dissertations and Theses Global
- Google Scholar (change country, for example, to find international material)
- Databases such as Canadian Business and Current Affairs and Web of Science
- Business Source Complete (select publication type "Grey literature")
- Think Tanks guide
- Think Tank subject guide (University of Alberta)
- GreyNet International (organizations in Grey Literature and repository)
- Conference Board of Canada e-Library Covers areas of Economic Trends, Organizational Performance, and Public Policy.
- NBER (National Bureau of Economics Research) Working Papers
- Policy File Index Indexes research on U.S. public policy
Indigenous Media & News Sources
- Indian news collection - digital collection of The Indian News 1954-1982
- First Nations Voice
- CBC news – Indigenous
- Chiefs of Ontario
- First Nations Drum
- Nunatsiaq News
- Aboriginal multi-media society archive, and Windspeaker
Search for news from individual nations:
- Nation - news source from the Cree of James Bay
- Algonquins of Pikwàkanagàn First Nation
- Métis Nation of Ontario News
- Ha-Shilth-Sa newspaper
- Canadian federal government documents
- Canadian Research Index - includes publications from all levels of government and research bodies.
- Aurora or Voilà (Library and Archives Canada)
- Open Government Portal see also Open Information for completed Access to Information summaries, contracts over $10,000, government wide-reporting and regulatory plans
- Older, digitized publications - Canadiana - Heritage, Aboriginal history, late 1700s to mid 1900s
- Library Catalogues
- Spending and Jurisdiction for First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples (Library of Parliament)
- Auditor General of Canada - Reports to Parliament
- Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
- Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada First Nations Financial Transparency Act
- Library of Parliament
- For more information see the Library's subject guide: Public Finance: Budgets, Expenditures, Monetary Policy and Audits
- Grey Matters
- Alternative Press Index
- Economics Search Engine (American Economic Association)
- Aboriginal Financial Officers Association - Journal of Aboriginal Management
- Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants. Financial Reporting by First Nations Study Group Financial Reporting by First Nations
- The Scow Institute. Political and Fiscal Accountability of Band Governments by Merle Alexander
Search for organizations that represent one nation or multiple nations.
- Kivalliq Inuit Association
- Assembly of First Nations
- Centre for First Nations Governance
- Institute on Governance - explore their research & publications
- Canadian Race Relations Foundation
- Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami
Jump to: Health Sources
Treaties, Agreements, Land Claims, Legislation and Commissions
- First Nations Gazette
- iPortal - Indigenous Studies Portal - Treaties
- Open Government Portal
- Canadian Intergovernmental Conference Secretariat
- Specific Claims Tribunal Canada
- National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation
- Library and Archives Canada
- Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
- Aboriginal and Treaty Rights Information System (ATRIS)
- Publications of Historical Interest and Historical Legislation
- Map Room - with interactive maps
- Bill C-7: the First Nations Governance Act – Legislative History
- Framework Agreement on First Nations Land Management
- Indian Act, RSC 1985, c I-5
- Library of Parliament research publications - Indigenous affairs
- Parliamentary Business
Note: don't forget to look for information within each province as well
- Institute on Governance
- Please note: the IOG has an extensive publication collection, but a terrible search catalogue. Below is a small selection of their publications.
- I suggest you search in the Library's catalogue Omni by author "Institute on Governance" and browse that way.
- A Path to Reconciliation: an Indigenous Self-Determination and Governance Framework
- Characteristics of a nation-to-nation relationship: Nation Building and Nations Re-Building
- Jurisdiction Summary Report and Agenda
- Nation building and Nation Re-Building Summary Report and Agenda
- Revisiting RCAP: towards reconciliation: the future of indigenous governance: symposium discussion paper
- Land Claims Agreements Coalition
- International - Canada and the United States
- Indian affairs: laws and treaties compiled and edited by Charles J. Kappler
- Indigenous Health: First Nations, Métis and Inuit Health Information (University of Manitoba Libraries)
- Open Government Portal
- Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada
- Canadian Institute for Health Information
- Canadian Institutes of Health Research
- Centre for Indigenous Research and Community-Led Engagement (University of Victoria)
- Health Canada
- Health Indicators
- Statistical Profile on the Health of First Nations in Canada
- Advisory Group on Suicide Prevention Acting on what we know: preventing youth suicide in First Nations
- Health Council of Canada – Aboriginal Health
- Pan-Canadian Public Health Network
- Public Health Infobase
- Canadian Chronic Disease Indicators
- National Collaborating Centre for Aboriginal Health
- Statistics Canada - Health statistics
- Northwest Territories Health and Social Services
- Nunavut Department of Health Publications
- Yukon Health and Social Services
- American Indian and Alaska Native Health
- U.S. Arctic Health
- Arcticstat – Socioeconomic circumpolar database – see Health/Social Services
Note: there are a broad variety of organizations doing research on Indigenous health. This is a very small selection of websites.
- Aboriginal Healing Foundation
- Assembly of First Nations - Health
- First Nations Child & Family Caring Society of Canada Caring Society - Research database
- First Nations Information Governance Centre Data Online
- Network Environments for Aboriginal Research BC (NEARBC)
- Thunderbird Partnership Foundation - Thunderbird Document Library
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.
Qualitative Research at Carleton University
NVivo is qualitative data analysis software intended to help researchers organize and analyze data, identify trends, and cross examine information in a variety of ways. Consult the NVIVO service web page for more information about this tool and training workshops.
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
- Open Government
- CANSIM II (Canadian Socio-Economic Information Management System)
- Statistics on Indigenous Peoples (Statistics Canada)
- Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs Canada
- And don't forget to try each province - Government Statistics