In the decades of discussions that led to this Alliance, it became evident that the interests of a diverse group of knowledge practitioners determined that our Governance Model had to include the varied pedagogy of each field, while also embracing the cross Canadian Indigenous worldviews. All without becoming a Pan-Indian organization.
In addition to the Executive consisting of two Co-Leads, Treasurer, and Council Secretary, five communities were established to represent the fields of NIKLA. The Chair of each Community holds a seat on the Council. In order to ensure that the association represents Indigenous practitioners, these nine members must identify as Indigenous (FNMI). Additionally, two additional Council seats are designated for any member who represents the organizational needs of our members. This is set by size and includes the two organization groups of Local Organizations, which are individual groups or services, and Institutional groups such as provincial/territorial, national or academic institutions. These At Large members need not be Indigenous, but must be appointed by an organization.
2021-2023 NIKLA Council
University Librarian, University of the Fraser Valley
Communities: Library, Museum & Archives
Camille Callison, Tahltan Nation member, is the University Librarian at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) and a passionate cultural activist pursuing a PhD in Anthropology at the University of Manitoba. Her research critically examines the role of cultural memory institutions (libraries, archives, and museums) and their relationships with Indigenous peoples and their diverse knowledges, language, and cultural by examining best practices which relate to recovery, revitalization, appropriate, access and repatriation. She is committed to being part of creating meaningful change related to equity, diversity, and inclusivity in the library, archival and cultural memory professions. Current professional contributions: Co-Lead, National Indigenous Knowledge and Language Alliance (NIKLA); Chair, IFLA Professional Division H; Board of Directors, Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN); Indigenous Caucus Coordinator, IEEE P2890™ Recommended Practice for Provenance of Indigenous Peoples’ Data; and NISO Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility Committee Standards subcommittee Co-Lead.
Our Governance Model
Dr. Sabrina Saunders is a Delaware/Mohawk band member of Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. A graduate of UWO’s MLIS program in the spring of 2018, she is also a certified elementary teacher, and holds a PhD in Theory & Policy Studies from OISE-UT. She joined The Blue Mountains Public Library team as CEO in 2017. Prior to this appointment, she was the CEO of Six Nations Public Library, the oldest on-reserve public library in Canada. Over her 10 years at Six Nations, Sabrina worked with the OLA as the Aboriginal Stream Coordinator for the Super Conference, as a jury member for the First Nation Communities Reads, as a planner for First Nation Public Library Week, and sat as the First Nation Rep on the Federation of Ontario Public Library, the Ontario Public Library Guidelines Accreditation and Monitoring Council, and the OLS-North Joint Automated Server Initiative (JASI). As the CEO at Six Nations, the library became the first of the First Nations to be accredited, and began a growing public library digital archive. Dr Saunders is the 2022 Ontario Library Association President.
Dr. Sabrina E. R. Saunders
CEO, The Blue Mountains Public Library
Communities: Archives, Library and Museum
Donald Johnson was born in Uranium City, Saskatchewan and grew up in Edmonton and Vancouver.
He is a member of the Lytton First Nation, located at the confluence of the Fraser and Thompson rivers in British Columbia.
He has degrees in Computer Science, Linguistics, Fine Arts, and Archival Studies. He has been a software engineer and curriculum developer. He is an artist and archivist.
Today, he is with the Provincial Archives of Saskatchewan as their Special Media Archivist and an Information Management Analyst.
In this work, he has heard and seen documentation of the lives of all the people of Saskatchewan and recognizes that they have common and uncommon experiences.
Donald knows the effects of residential schools, and so by calling and consent, he needs to help realize reconciliation.
Special Media Archivist / Information Management Analyst,
Archives Community Chair
Feather Maracle is Mohawk from Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, and Six Nations of the Grand River. She is Odawa and Potawatomi from Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve.
Feather is a mother to two beautiful, kind and gentle children.
She is also the CEO and Director of Library Services for the Six Nations Public Library – the largest and oldest First Nation public library in the world.
Feather is a strong advocate for promoting Indigenous Voices and inclusion as pertains to the library sector; she holds space and shares, in the intersection of library and Indigenous matters. Feather sits on many boards, councils and committees. She is the Chair of the Ontario Library Association – Indigenous Advisory Council; Board Member of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries; Yellow Team Lead on the Truth and Reconciliation Report and Recommendations Committee of the Canadian Federation of Library Associations. She is a member of the First Nations Strategic Action Group, and a Juror on the First Nation Communities Read. Most recently, Feather has been elected to the International Federation of Library Associations – Indigenous Matters Committee.
Feather has been raised in her cultures and with their distinct value systems. She continues to be guided along the path of her traditional knowledge systems. She has a genuine passion for her people and community, as Indigenous ways of knowing, and their importance and continued relevance in contemporary times. This way of being allows her to apply and transfer knowledge to librarianship and education.
Secretary of the Council
Catherine C. Cole is the Director of Planning for the Nunavut Heritage Centre in Iqaluit and Principal Consultant, Catherine C. Cole & Associates in Edmonton. She has been a consultant to IHT for more than 15 years, primarily providing professional development and training. A former museum curator and interpreter, she has consulted on heritage issues throughout Canada and internationally for 30 years. Catherine is Métis and has made both a professional and personal commitment to decolonization and reconciliation. She is a Fellow of the Canadian Museums Association (FCMA); a member of Parks Canada’s Indigenous Cultural Heritage Advisory Council (ICHAC); an International Advisory Group Member for Renewing Relations: Indigenous Heritage Rights and (Re)conciliation in Northwest Coast Canada, at the University of Exeter, UK; and from 2013-2020 was Secretary-General of the Commonwealth Association of Museums (CAM), a network of postcolonial museums and professionals that reflects on colonial legacies and develops new international relationships and working practices. Catherine recently co-authored a study of the implementation of UNDRIP for the Indigenous Heritage Circle.
Catherine C. Cole
Director of Planning, Inuit Heritage Trust
Community: Culture & Heritage Community
Culture & Heritage Community Chair
Stacy Allison-Cassin is a Citizen of the Métis Nation of Ontario with kinship connections to the Georgian Bay Métis community. An Assistant Professor, Teaching Stream, in the LIS program at the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto, she engages in work and research related to Indigenous matters in libraries and the larger cultural heritage sector. With a deep interest in increasing access and visibility for non-textual materials and marginalized knowledge, Stacy is a passionate advocate for change in information structures and metadata systems within the library profession and across the wider GLAM sector. Stacy is on leave from her position as an Association Librarian at York University. Stacy is active in association work, as an advisor, and in community-focused work.
Dr. Stacy Allison-Cassin
Assistant Professor, Dalhousie University
Language Preservation & Instruction Community Chair
Indigenous Services Librarian, Dalhousie University
Library Community Chair
Samantha is Mi’kmaw/settler from Kjipuktuk/Halifax. She’s a member of Sipekne’katik First Nation and she’s the Indigenous Services Librarian at Dalhousie University.
Guest Curator, Woodland Cultural Center
Museum Community Chair
Heather is a mother, gardener, beader, curator and PhD Candidate. As a scholar of Euro-Canadian and Kanien'kehá:ka descent who grew up off reserve, much of Heather's personal and professional work has been directed at gaining a better understanding of the culture and history of her nation. Her current PhD research through University of Waterloo examines the historical and philosophical underpinnings of contemporary museum practices across Haudenosaunee communities. She seeks to better understand how material culture can be used to heal trauma and make space for cross-cultural dialogues. In 2019, Heather was awarded the Joseph-Armand Bombardier Canada Graduate Scholarship for her research. Heather has spent over a decade working for urban and reserve based Indigenous organizations in the Six Nations of the Grand River territory focused on cultural preservation, heritage, and youth resiliency. Heather is currently on leave from her position as Curator of Indigenous Histories at the Canadian Museum of History, working as a Guest Curator at Woodland Cultural Centre. Heather is also a director for the Canadian Museums Association and a director for the Indigenous Heritage Circle.
Program Officer (Culture) Canadian Commission for UNESCO
Community: Culture & Heritage
At Large Institutional Member
[Filling Local Organization at Large]
Barbara Filion is the Programme Officer for Culture, with the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. She has previously worked as a consultant and served as the Reconciliation Program Director at the Canadian Museums Association. Prior to that, she was the Director of Education at Working Assumptions, a national organization based in Berkeley, California, that uses art to examine social issues. Barbara has over 20 years of experience in the museum field. She taught and was a thesis advisor in the Museum Studies Program, at JFK University in California and also served as the Associate Director of the Archaeology Museum at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. Barbara grew up in the region of La Mauricie in Quebec and is a member of the Ilnu Nation of Mashteuiatsh.
Associate Dean (Library Services), Dalhousie University
Community: Library Community
At Large Institutional Member
Elaine joined the Dalhousie Libraries in 2012 when the Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC) merged with Dalhousie University. She held the position of University Librarian at the NSAC prior to the merger and also served as their Copyright Officer. She has held executive positions on both the Novanet Board of Directors and the Council of Atlantic University Libraries Board of Directors.
As the Associate Dean Library Services, Elaine coordinates with staff in the Dal Libraries in the areas of access services, copyright, document delivery, equity, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous services, library assessment, and reference and research services. As the Head of the MacRae Library, Elaine also works with staff at the MacRae Library on the Agricultural Campus (Truro) to advance learning and scholarship by ensuring access to high-quality resources and services for students, faculty, and researchers.