A Proposal to Conduct Research on the Relationship Between Aboriginals Living on Reservations in Alberta and the Public Library System

Abstract | Research Problem | Literature Review | Questions and Definitions | Ethics Review | Data Collection | Implementation Plan | Dissemination Plan | Budget |
Appendix A | Appendix B | Appendix C | Appendix D | Appendix E | Appendix F | Appendix G | Bibliography |

Research Questions

The scope of the interview questions will be derived from the following three major research questions:

  1. What kind of relationship do Aboriginals on reservations in Alberta have with public libraries?
  2. What services or venues do Aboriginals on reservations in Alberta utilize to satisfy their information needs?
  3. Are there any barriers to information perceived by on-reserve Aboriginals in Alberta that public libraries could or should address?



The term Aboriginal is used to encompass people who self-identify as a "North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, and/or those who reported being a Treaty Indian or a Registered Indian, as defined by the Indian Act of Canada, and/or those who reported they were members of an Indian band or First Nation." This definition is from the Statistics Canada definition for Aboriginal identity population. In the context of this study, only Aboriginals on reservations between the ages of 25-34 will be considered.


The term "barriers" is a blanket term that applies to all items or actions that may keep an individual (in this case, an on-reservation Aboriginal) from a place (in this case, public libraries). The project will explore the barriers of literacy, distance, inclusion, comfort, language, and services provided. It is expected that due to the semi-structured nature of the interview that other barriers may be discussed as well.


This term definition is adapted from Claude Shannon's 1948 Information Theory as presented in his classic work A Mathematical Theory of Communication. Information is entropic, or, what is unknown to an individual. In this way, information is different to each person depending on their pre-existing knowledge set. This research study will look at where an individual looks for information and the barriers in the way to expanding their knowledge (Shannon, 1948).


This term – along with the shortened version "reserves" – refers to a "tract of land, the legal title to which is held by the Crown, set apart for the use and benefit of an Indian band" (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, 2010, para 27). The reservations focused on for this study are Enoch Cree Nation, Blood First Nation, and Fox Lake.

Ethics Review>>

Back to Introduction