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Indigenizing Citations at Camosun

The Authentic Indigenous Voices (AIV) Icon & Designation

The AIV icon and designation helps to identify Indigenous creators who are engaging with important themes, issues, or elements of Indigenous culture (past, present day, and the imagined future) and/or present the perspectives, ideas and/or lived experiences of an Indigenous person or people.

The Authentic Indigenous Voices (AIV) Icon is a visual signifier for people seeking Indigenous authored/created content from the Camosun Library. The icon is a starting point for readers to identify the creators of resources featured in Camosun LibGuides and may assist with the indigenization of course curricula, research, and other scholarly activities. The AIV designation is also being integrated into library catalogue records for physical books. Resources that are labelled AIV will be searchable using the keywords "Authentic Indigenous Voices." 

AIV Scope
The AIV icon and designation are not limited to identifying Indigenous creators in what is now known as Canada (members of First Nations, the Métis, and Inuit) – they are used to signify Indigenous content from around the world as well. As appropriate, the maple leaf icon in LibGuides is available to be used in conjunction with the AIV icon to indicate the inclusion of “Canadian” content or contexts. 

AIV Selection Guidelines
Please note – the AIV selection guidelines are fluid, will change over time, and are subject to interpretation and the judgement of those both applying and using them. The AIV label will be assigned with respect, sincerity, and the best knowledge available at the time of their application. The AIV icon and designation has been inspired by, and draw from, the Strong Nations Bookstore Authenticity Labels.

Resources with an authentic Indigenous voice include those that:

  1. are created (authored, illustrated, edited, directed, produced, informed, etc.) in whole or in part by an Indigenous person or people; 
  2. feature substantial art created (designed, illustrated, photographed, painted, carved, printed, etc.) by an Indigenous person or people;
  3. may also include the work of other contributors who are not Indigenous (for example, a non-Indigenous co-author or editor, or a book that is illustrated by an Indigenous artist but authored by a non-Indigenous writer).

Identifying Authentic Indigenous Voices 

In order to implement the AIV initiative, Camosun Librarians make sometimes subjective decisions around what qualifies as authentic Indigenous content. These decisions are supported by research, and in some cases, consultation with Indigenous colleagues. Identifying Indigenous authors, creators, and contributors can be challenging for several reasons. These include:

  • Some authors may be underrepresented with little information publicly available about them.
  • Some Indigenous contributors may not be identified as such in certain publications.
  • Indigenous contributors may be uncredited in certain publications.
  • Non-Indigenous people may misrepresent their identity as Indigenous.
  • Some individuals who identify as Indigenous may be accepted by certain Indigenous communities, but not others. 
  • Knowledge about a person’s identity can change over time. For example, a person may learn about or confirm their Indigenous identity later in life.

Library users are ultimately responsible for making their own decisions around what qualifies as authentic Indigenous content for their own purposes – this includes conducting their own research into the resources’ creators and content. Those seeking more information about Indigenous identity are encouraged to engage with the resources listed at the end of this document.

Help us identify Indigenous authors and creators!

The Camosun Library is working to make Indigenous authors, illustrators, contributors, and creators more discoverable in its catalogue and library guides by using the Authentic Indigenous Authors (AIV) designation and icon. This is a necessarily time consuming and manual process.

We need your help! If you know of a resource created by an Indigenous author that is part of the library collection or featured on a guide, and that is not already discoverable in the library catalogue or flagged with an AIV icon, please let us know by emailing Recommendations will be reviewed using the Authentic Indigenous Voices (AIV) Icon Selection Guidelines. Please include a link to information or a few sentences about the author in your recommendation. 

Challenges and complaints
Members of the Camosun community wishing to challenge the appropriateness of a resource labelled with an AIV, are welcome to submit their reasoning to the Director of Learning Services at All complaints or challenges will be considered carefully with consultation and research.

This icon is based on Na’tsa’maht - The Gathering Place, and specifically its ceiling. When viewed from below, the opening above creates a striking contrast between structure and sky. This particular pattern of light and shadow, of wood and air, reminds us of this special space that resonates deeply with so many in the college community. Visually balanced and symbolically strong, I think its a great icon to represent Authentic Indigenous Voices. - Seán McLaughlin, Graphic Designer


Arcand, Mark. 2022. "Indigeneity is for Indigenous People to Define." The Globe and Mail, April 18. Indigenous Voices icon Maple leaf icon

First Peoples Group. 2022. ‘GII-IKIDONAANIWAN’ ‘It Has Been Said’: Queen’s University Indigenous Identity Project: Final Report. Kingston, ON: Queens University. Indigenous Voices icon Maple leaf icon

Government of Canada (1985). Indian Act RSC, 1985, c1-5. leaf icon

Hayden Taylor, Drew. 2021. "Proposal for an Indigenous Identity Act Presents a Moral Quandary: Opinion." The Globe and Mail, January 25. Indigenous Voices icon maple leaf icon

King, Angelina. 2023. "Toronto school board should vet claims of staff who self-identify as Indigenous, say former student, parent." CBC News, August 16. maple leaf icon

LeMay, Rose. 2021. "Pretendians in our Midst." The Hill Times, November 08: 11. Indigenous Voices icon Maple leaf icon

Leo, Geoff. 2022. "University of Sask. Announces Policy Aimed at Rooting out False Claims of Indigenous Ancestry." CBC News, July 25. leaf icon

Leroux, Darryl. 2019. Distorted Descent: White Claims to Indigenous Identity. Winnipeg, MB: University of Manitoba Press. leaf icon n.d. “About us” Accessed August 3, 2022. Indigenous Voices icon Maple leaf icon

“Strong Nations Bookstore Authenticity Labels.” n.d. Accessed August 3, 2022. leaf icon

Weaver, Hilary N. 2001. "Indigenous Identity: What Is It and Who Really Has It?" The American Indian Quarterly 25 (2): 240-255. doi:10.1353/aiq.2001.0030. Indigenous Voices icon