First Nations, Metis and Inuit – Indigenous Ontologies (FNMIIO)

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

To mark National Indigenous Peoples Day we are pleased to announce that the CFLA-FCAB’s Indigenous Matters Committee’s – Red Team-Joint Working Group on Classification and Subject Headings and the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) is releasing the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – Indigenous Ontology (FNMIIO). This initial release of community names is a soft launch is a first step in a longer project and represents the equal and collaborative contributions of its members.

NIKLA and the Joint Working Group acknowledge that the ontology builds on the work of many Indigenous peoples who have long advocated for the importance of respectfully representing Indigenous knowledge, culture, and communities in libraries. This living ontology respects, acknowledges, and supports Indigenous sovereignty over knowledge. The First Nations, Métis, and Inuit – Indigenous Ontology (FNMIIO) soft launch will facilitate community feedback, corrections and expressions as needed and the Joint Working Group/NIKLA will respond to these contributions by updating this living document at regular intervals.

The FNMI Ontology is released through the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA) and represents an initial effort to improve the representation of Indigenous peoples and communities in libraries, archives and other cultural memory institutions a group of volunteers, working with the (spell out) CFLA-FCAB Indigenous Matters Committee – Red Team Joint Working Group on Classification and Subject Headings and others that have joined this group via the National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance NIKLA ANCLA, have compiled a working list of Indigenous Names to better reflect how Indigenous people currently prefer to refer to themselves. This is a living document that will be updated and change as more information is gathered or realized in the course of research and/or consultations.

The Joint Working Group on Classification and Subject Headings, led by Camille Callison, Stacy Allison-Cassin, Alissa Cherry and F. Tim Knight, is dedicated to identifying and promoting best practices, supporting reconciliation and meeting the needs of Indigenous communities and have come together to fulfill and implement recommendation #5 of the CFLA/FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee report:

“Decolonize Access and Classification by addressing the structural biases in existing schemes of knowledge organization and information retrieval arising from colonialism by committing to integrating Indigenous epistemologies into cataloguing praxis and knowledge management.” CFLA-FCAB Truth & Reconciliation Committee report

This first draft of the  “First Nations, Metis and Inuit – Indigenous Ontologies” (FNMIIO) located at:  is a living document and we welcome and encourage feedback on any aspect of the data found in this spreadsheet. Please contact us with any corrections or inaccuracies you find or if you have suggestions for improvement.

Future plans for this vocabulary include distribution as MARC authority records and in linked data formats (RDF/XML, JSON-LD, Turtle, etc.).

Joint Working Group on Classification and Subject Heading/NIKLA members

Stacy Allison-Cassin

York University

Camille Callison

University of Manitoba

Alissa Cherry

Museum of Anthropology

F. Tim Knight

Osgoode Hall, York University

Michael Dudley

University of Winnipeg

Sharon Farnel

University of Alberta

Darren Furey

Memorial University

Katherine Kasirer

National Film Board of Canada

Patricia Geddes

Vancouver Island University

Patricia Knockwood

New Brunswick Public Library

Anita Kora

Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami (ITK)

Stacey Penney

Memorial University

Monika Fuijkschot

Library and Archives Canada -LAC

Christine Bone

University of Manitoba

Anne Carr-Wiggin

University of Alberta

Lisc Daley

Northwest Territories Legislative Library

Trina Grover

Ryerson University

William (Bill) Leonard

Library and Archives Canada LAC

Melanie Ribau

Toronto Public Library

Elizabeth Stregger

Mount Allison University Libraries and Archives

Dianne Beattie

Library and Archives Canada LAC

Natalie Mainville

Library and Archives Canada LAC

Robin Desmeules

McGill University

Jennifer Budden

A.C. Hunter Public Library, St. John, Newfoundland

Morning Star Padilla

Dalhousie University

Carol Rigby

Nunavut/Liaison with Metadata Committee

Melissa Adams

Union of BC Indian Chiefs

Kim Lawson

Xwi7xwa Library, UBC

Desmond Wong

University of Toronto

Don Johnson

Saskatchewan Archives

Garry Njootli

Geographical Place Names Program, Yukon Government

Tyson Thomas

Previously at University of Alberta

Feather Maracle

Six Nations Public Library



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