Canada’s Indigenous Communities to Benefit from Emerald Project

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The newly opened pilot project between Emerald and the Council of Prairie and Pacific Libraries is intended to open research content to Indigenous communities and higher education in Canada.

In the science library at the University of Saskatchewan. Image: University of Saskatchewan

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Vicky Williams: ‘All Voices Should Be Heard’
Based in Bingley, England, Emerald Publishing is engaged in an outreach to Canada’s Indigenous peoples, the First Nations, in a pilot project designed to free up research content for access and use in a group of Indigenous post-secondary educational institutions.

The First Voices First project is a pilot with the Council of Prairie and Pacific University Libraries (COPPUL) in Canada, a network of campus libraries across the western provinces. The program opened on Tuesday (September 21) and runs to the end of 2022.

The goal is to make more relevant information and research content available to users outside the academic world. Students, faculty members, and communities are expected to be able “to freely access relevant research,” according to the libraries council, “to improve information and literacy in post-secondary education as well as in community-based economic development projects.”

Emerald is extending access, at no additional cost, to 120 journals through the Council of Libraries and the University of Saskatchewan to the following Indigenous post-secondary institutions and communities:

  • Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies
  • University College of the North
  • Northlands College
  • Chemawawin Public Library at Easterville
  • Norway House Public Library
  • Pukatawagan Public Library System
  • Pahkisimon Nuyeʔáh Library System
  • Muskoday First Nation

Vicky Williams

Deborah Lee: ‘To Correct Historical Wrongs’

In a prepared statement, Vicky Williams, Emerald’s CEO, is quoted pointing out that one goal is to develop scholarly writings from the Indigenous populations themselves, saying, “As a publisher with a strong commitment to provision of quality information and education for all, we’re excited to be supporting this pilot study with COPPUL.

“In particular, we’re interested in how this pilot can be extended beyond initial information access to participation through Indigenous scholarly authorship.

“Our belief is that all voices should be heard through the scholarly record, and it’s important that we don’t impose a one-size-fits all approach to participation. We look forward to listening, learning, and ensuring we respond with appropriate products and services.”

Deborah Lee

And Deborah Lee, Indigenous studies collections and initiatives librarian, says, “As an Indigenous librarian, I’m excited to see free access to Emerald database content open up to Indigenous communities and post secondaries.”

Lee is a Cree-Métis librarian, originally from Treaty 6 Territory, near Edmonton. One of the projects with which she’s been involved is the Indigenous Studies Portal.

The new pilot project with Emerald, she says, is “one small step in the journey to correct historical wrongs related to research and Indigenous peoples and it warms my heart.”

And Harvey Briggs, associate vice-president for reconciliation, research, and academic innovation at the University College of the North, says, “We at UCN see this partnership with a great deal of anticipation and we really think the services it will offer to our students will be invaluable.

“We’re grateful to COPPUL, the University of Saskatchewan, and Emerald Publishing for making this collaboration happen and for including us at UCN.”


More from Publishing Perspectives on scholarly publishing is here, more on Indigenous publishing is here, more on Emerald Publishing is here, and more on Canada is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson is a non-resident fellow of Trends Research & Advisory, and he has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As as an arts critic (National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.

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