Indigenous Subject Headings in MAIN

University of Manitoba Archives & Special Collections. Winnipeg Tribune fonds. Hilda Fisher receives an eagle feather from Chief Harry Cook of the Bloodvein First Nation to mark her high school graduation at a ceremony at the Winnipeg Indian and Métis Friendship Centre, July 26, 1980  (PC18-2945-1).

The Association for Manitoba Archives is pleased to say that the subject headings utilized in MAIN have been altered to be more inclusive and respectful of Manitoba’s Indigenous people. Consequently, when archivists describe archival content, and researchers search and browse that content by subjects, the descriptions in the system are culturally appropriate and more accurately represent Indigenous communities in Manitoba.

Over a period of six years, the MAIN-LCSH Working Group of the AMA, along with the technical support of Artefactual Systems and the financial support of the AMA, worked diligently to realize this goal. By undertaking a consultation process with Indigenous communities in Manitoba, as well as with librarians and archivists around the world, the subject terminology now employed in MAIN is not only more appropriate for describing archival records by or about Manitoba’s Indigenous people, but the descriptions remain highly discoverable and consistent with metadata standards and best practices.

As this work was influenced by others working in this realm, we too encourage reuse of our work in other libraries and archives. The list of terms that were added, changed, or deleted is available here:

It is our hope that other institutions will be able to build on what we have done and implement culturally appropriate Indigenous subject headings in catalogues and repositories around the world.

The AMA is committed to ensuring that this resource continues to adapt to cultural and societal shifts that necessitate changes in subject headings.

Read more about the project in the article below:

Bone, Christine, and Brett Lougheed. "Library of Congress Subject Headings Related to Indigenous Peoples: Changing LCSH for Use in a Canadian Archival Context." Cataloging & Classification Quarterly 56 (1) (2018). DOI: 10.1080/01639374.2017.1382641.