Xaanja Free

 

Pronouns
She/Her

Current Program
Master of Library and Information Studies

Bachelor Degree
Bachelor of Arts,
University of Victoria
Major in Art History
Minor in Education

Website
www.xaanjafree.com

 

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I respectfully acknowledge my residence as visitor in the lands of the Musqueam People as a UBC graduate student, living, working, and learning at the UBC Vancouver campus. I am deeply appreciative to have been a 17-year visitor in the lands of the Coast Salish People, whose territory I called home.

What was your initial motivation for joining the FNCC?

When I first started my MLIS, I realized my coursework became focused on First Nations inclusion. My completed assignments were aligned with what the FNCC is meant for–the concentration of First Nations curriculum; for I was already presenting my assignments with an Indigenous lens. I realized this is where I am meant to focus my research, for my passion became finding ways to create forms of reparation and inclusion of Indigenous peoples within librarianship.

What are your current research interests and areas of focus? Have your research interests changed since joining the FNCC?

My research has developed into the consideration of the formation of Indigenous identity through literature, specifically children’s literature. My focus now is to develop educational tools that address biased/banned books about Indigenous peoples by recommending companion books written by Indigenous authors to combat stereotypes with researched facts.
My research changed to consider–how can we educate the negative stereotypes out of the library collection?.

Regarding research, what question would you like to find an answer to?

  • How can we, as librarians, help shape a positive identity for Indigenous Peoples amid a world that has believed colonial perceptions for generations?
  • Can Indigenous people have a new introduction to the world?
  • Can we read or educate the racism & discrimination away?

 

What questions interest you when it comes to decolonizing libraries/archives?

Decolonizing libraries means a new beginning…I am interested in how we consider the knowledge we curate and how that knowledge affects social behaviour (biases/prejudices formed). Libraries hold a powerful position to name how to identify information, we can we be sure that we have the right intention in our choice of language to form our description? How can we ensure we do the right thing every time?.

 

What is your area of focus/interest while studying in the FNCC?

Indigenous Identity Represented in Children’s Literature.

 

Student work

Creating Welcoming Spaces of Surveillance—Why a Social Worker Does Not Belong in a Librarian Role (MLIS LIBR 508 Briefing Note)

Rethinking the Canon of Children’s Literature: A Contemporary Response to The “Savage” Indian in the Cupboard

Rethinking the Canon (Handout)