CBS Introduces “Little Free Library” of Indigenous Books

Posted on Thursday, August 19th, 2021

Written by College of Biological Science

The Department of Integrative Biology’s Indigenous Belonging and Connections Committee has introduced a new addition to the second-floor lounge in the Summerlee Science Complex.

Students, staff, and faculty can now find a collection of books by Indigenous authors and about Indigenous experiences in a newly created little free library, an open resource available to everyone in the department. Readers are welcome to borrow the books and return them whenever they are finished.

The collection has a mix of scholarly treatments, fiction, graphic novels, and other works. It includes authors such as Thomas King, Michelle Good, David Robertson, and many other notable Canadian and International authors.

While borrowing these books, students are encouraged to take the time to reflect on how they can become better stewards to the land on which we reside, and engage actively and meaningfully in decolonization and reconciliation with the original inhabitants of the land.

“This is a small action, but we hope that it provides an opportunity for members of the Department to learn about and reflect on the past, present, and future of Indigenous issues in Canada”, says Dr. Ryan Gregory, Chair of the Department of Integrative Biology, who co-chairs the Indigenous Belonging and Connections Committee with Integrative Biology Adjunct Professor Dr. Melissa Perreault.

“This library is the first of many Indigenous initiatives our committee is developing for the College that not only support the education of Indigenous history, culture, and issues,” said Perreault, “but also work towards an environment that reflects Indigenous perspectives.”

The Department imagines expanding this project in the future to include collections of books by Black authors, LGBTQ+, and others. They also hope to create safe spaces with more books available in the other lounges.

The University of Guelph is dedicated to its work towards reconciliation, understanding the importance of acknowledging the past and calling attention to present challenges. As members of this community, we reside on the treaty lands and territory of the Mississauga of the Credit First Nation and the ancestral lands of the Attawandaron people.

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