Indigenous Relations


Libraries across the province of Alberta have removed the non-resident user fee that affected people living On-Reserve or On-Métis settlements. In the past, this non-resident library user fee was about $60 more than what a town resident might pay, a considerable barrier for First Nation and Métis residents. Today, a library card is free in most communities. If a fee is charged, the fee will be the same for all library patrons regardless of whether they live in town, county, On-Reserve, or On-Settlement. This change is long overdue but a positive step towards equal access to service.

Northern Lights Library System and Indigenous Services

Northern Lights has committed to endorsing a new relationship with First Nation, Métis, and Inuit individuals and communities. This means extending an invitation and introduction to library services and programs. We would like to create space for local Indigenous perspectives and content in library collections and to improve access to collections. Within the geographical area of the Northern Lights Library System, there are seven different First Nation communities and four Métis Settlements.

How?  Our goals are simple:

Welcome  ♦  Invite  ♦  Make Space  ♦  Improve Access

Here are some examples of the above goals in action:

  • Weekly on-site library service to reserve communities
  • Incorporating Cree and Denesuline language resources into library collections or websites
  • Taking responsibility to make the library a welcoming space with a smile or a handshake - Making space for Indigenous content and programming
  • Building relationships with Indigenous organizations and communities

Check out the links below for information about library services related to Indigenous people:

If you are interested in including Reconciliation as part of your library programming or if you would like to become involved in an event, please reach out to our Indigenous Relations Advisor, Mary Dustow, at

“Let’s Talk About Reconciliation” Film Screening and Discussion Events

“Let’s Talk About Reconciliation”
Film Screening and Discussion Events

The Canadian Commission for UNESCO, in partnership with the Indigenous Matters Committee of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations, the National Film Board of Canada, the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and Library and Archives Canada, are working in collaboration with libraries to "help build bridges and strengthen the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples".

Libraries will have access to NFB films at no cost. A list of suitable films will be provided. The promotion of each event through the National Committee is an option. One of the most important elements of this process is guidance and knowledge from the Indigenous community. 

The following three steps should help you start planning your event:
- Reach out to your Indigenous community and to an Elder to establish the collaboration in the first planning stages
- Select a film in collaboration with the community and Elder
- Propose a date