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Research Guides

Indigenous Studies

Start with a journal database

Use one of these databases to identify journal articles in Aboriginal Studies. Key indexes are listed first, followed by a more detailed list.

Keyword search examples:

      metis and poetry
      native and students and university

More journal databases

To find more databases in a variety of disciplines, go to the library home page and click on 'Subjects A to Z.'

Then click on the arrow to see a list of subject areas. 

More keyword searching techniques

TIP Use an asterisk '*' to find different word endings, and get more articles. (note, most indexes use an asterisk, but some do not. look at the indexes help screens to find out.)

      aboriginal and canad* and poet* 
      canad* will find canada, canadian, canadians...
      poet* will find poetry, poet, poets...

      ojibw* and language 
      ojibw* will find ojibwe, ojibwa, ojibwah, ojibway...

TIP 'or' will find alternative words. Use brackets around keywords joined by 'or' when you combine them with other strategies. 

      (aboriginal or native or indians or inuit) and university and students
      (aboriginal or native* or indian* or inuit) and postsecondary and student*

A note on language

There are many words that mean Aboriginal peoples. For example:

   Anishinaabe, Onkwehon:we, Aboriginal, Metis, Inuit, Native, Indian, Amerindian, First Nations, Indigenous, Ojibwe, Oneida...

They each have different nuances and histories. Authors and indexers may use a variety of different words. You may need to use more than one word to find everything in the database. Experiment to see what is effective.

Criteria for evaluating scholarly journals


Does it employ Indigenous Research Methods?


Who wrote it?



Does the author acknowledge his or her sources? How?



Is the content substantial?

Does it appear to be valid and well-researched?

Does it make sense, based on your own background knowledge, or what other articles have to say on the topic?



Is the language scholarly?

Is the article well written?

Do illustrations and data support the content in a scholarly fashion, or do they appear to be attention-getting, or sensational?



Who is the article written for?

Is it written for experts and researchers in the field, or for members of the general public?



Is it published in a scholarly journal?


Here are excellent explanations of how to evaluate information sources, and  how to distinguish between scholarly and other periodicals.


Get the journal

To access an article from a citation in a database:

  • If you see a [fulltext] link, select it.
  • If you see a Get!it button or SFX button, select it. This will link to the article online, if we have it. If we don't have it online, it will search the library catalogue for you to tell you if we have it in print.

To find an item from a bibliography:

  • Method 1: Go to the library home page and enter your article title in the search box. It may help to put quotes on the title. This should find your article if it is online. 
  • Method 2: Look up the name of the journal that the article is published in, in the library catalogue, to find out if we have it in print or online. Write down the name of the library, and the journal's call number in that library. Make sure we have the volume that you want.