|South Australian Museum, shields|
- Library and Archives Canada Aboriginal Resources and Services
- Collections from York University focusing on Indigenous peoples.
- The Douglas Cardinal collection at Carleton University's Archives and Research Collections (ARC)
- Brantford Public Library's local history digital archive contains information about the history of Six Nations.
The Association of Canadian Archivists (ACA) does have a Special Interest Section on Aboriginal Archives (SISAA). According to the summary on the ACA website, SISAA aims to act as " an interface between the community of Canadian archivists and Aboriginal communities and organizations and to form a base of expertise, advice, and support on archival issues that can be shared with Aboriginal communities and organizations." The most well known example of this is the 2007 SISAA publication of their Aboriginal Archives Guide which serves as an introduction to archival practice for Aboriginal organizations and communities.
I find the above statement about SISAA unsettling. The statement speaks of sharing expertise with Aboriginal communities and the separation of the archival community from Aboriginal communities. Yes, archivists do have expertise, however there is a tremendous amount of knowledge that archivists can also gain from viewing Aboriginal communities as the experts -- traditional knowledge, oral traditions, and cultural heritage can provide a breadth of understanding to archivists that can potentially enrich archival collections. Additionally, Canada's colonial past and resulting collection with consultation has long been detrimental to the material cultural of Indigenous people in Canada. Active and equal collaboration has the potential to benefit the archival and Aboriginal communities.
Though perhaps the SISAA is merely attempting to grapple with its current state -- very few archivists or archives staff from smaller more community based archives participate in ACA's annual conference, special interest groups, or membership. Many of the members of SISAA are archivists who work in more traditional institutions which hold substantial collections created by or relating to Aboriginal people (eg. LAC, provincial and local government archives, HBC, etc).
Smaller resource limited archives tend to be disengaged from the ACA and more broadly the Canadian archival and heritage profession. In the US, the Association of Tribal Archives, Libraries, and Museums (ATALM) has worked to engage Tribal based cultural institutions and to provide training and services that are geared to the specific needs of Tribal organizations. Granted, this still separates Aboriginal heritage organizations and professionals from the rest of the profession, but at least important services are made accessible via ATALM.
In Canada, many archives have worked to established community level collaboration and relationships with Indigenous people. Currently, these connection just don't seem to transfer into the national level or the realm of professional associations. Given the current dismal state of government heritage funding, it seems unlikely that ACA and other professional organizations will change their approaches to Indigenous heritage in the near future.