Your Name and Title
Hannah Buckland, State Library Program Specialist

Library, School, or Organization Name
State Library Services, Minnesota Department of Education

Co-Presenter Name(s)
Allison Waukau (Navajo/Menominee), Native Community Liaison, Hennepin County Library

Area of the World from Which You Will Present
Minnesota (CDT)

Language in Which You Will Present

Target Audience(s)
All library workers. All libraries in the U.S. and Canada are located in ancestral, traditional, and contemporary Indigenous lands. All libraries have a responsibility to engage in reconciliation work.

Short Session Description (one line)
By engaging in reconciliation work, libraries can strive to foster healing and repair harm.

Full Session Description
Libraries are steeped in colonization: They prioritize the written word, which contradicts Indigenous oral traditions; they organize information in ways that oppose Native cultural worldviews; and they undermine the role of Native elders, who are the traditional knowledge keepers in Native communities. At Hennepin County Library (HCL), staff who aspire to hold the library accountable for historic and ongoing harm are engaging in the work of reconciliation. In this context, reconciliation aims to foster healing and repair harm the library has inflicted upon the Native community. Successful and sustainable reconciliation work requires structural change within libraries. At HCL, this includes strengthening support for Native library staff; building relationships between HCL and Native community partners; and creating opportunities for library staff to openly acknowledge and understand the role settler colonialism has played in HCL's history and continues to play today. Session attendees will learn practical information about these efforts.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session

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  • I'm really looking forward to this session. As an Australian library technocian currently studying a Master's if LIM, I recognise an urgent need to engage in these practices of reconciliation and acknowledgement the role settler colonialism continues to play on the unceded land I'm living and working on. I'd be interested to learn if there's any research or books anyone has found useful for their understanding and application of this in public libraries. Thanks, Cass

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