First Nations Public Library Week 2023
October 2, 2023 00:00 - October 6, 2023 23:59
Theme: Skaíhwa’t | Dgogaabwi | Standing Together
Since 2000, First Nation public libraries have used one week of the year to raise awareness of their resources, services, programs and activities. First Nations Public Library Week is celebrated the first week of October to coincide with Canadian Library Month.
First Nations Public Library Week is not only an opportunity to promote public library services but also to celebrate cultural uniqueness through creative library programming.
Skaíhwa’t | Dgogaabwi | Standing Together
The 2023 theme describes the act of coming together as one group to understand and support each other. The act of solidarity is described in three languages:
- SKAÍHWA’T – Mohawk – the concept of consensus on one matter, standing together
- DGOGAABWI – Anishinaabemowin – stand with others, participate with others
- STANDING TOGETHER – English
The imagery on the poster depicts the unity public librarians experience. The artist, Mya Warner (Six Nations of the Grand River), prominently displays the Hiawatha Belt in the center of the turtle’s back to remind audiences that great alliances have existed on Turtle Island (North America) amongst Indigenous people since time immemorial. According to the Onondaga Nation People of the Hills website, there are multiple examples of Otgó’ä’ (Wampum) belts that are a “vital part of Onondaga and Haudenosaunee culture.” Otgó’ä’ record histories, relationships, and commitments between Indigenous nations, and between Indigenous nations and settler nations.
The Onondaga Nation People of the Hills website states, “Wampum has many uses. One of the uses is to invite the other nations to council meetings. These wampum strings are given the topic that all of the nations are to meet and discuss about. At the end of the wampum string is a wooden stick. The wooden stick tells the people of the nation when the meeting is to take place. As each day passes, a notch is cut off the stick and when the notches are all gone, the meeting will take place.”
In the contemporary context, the 2023 First Nation Public Library Week theme and poster imagery reminds on-reserve and municipal public libraries that alliances and friendships exist and that reciprocal partnerships strengthen the public library sector.