ALA Annual 2023

Indigenous Excellence at #alaac23

Aanii boohoo nwiijkiwenhak, mino giizhigat (Hello friends, it’s a good day)! This is Allie Genia, coming at you from Sunday of #alaac23. So far the conference has been a whirlwind of professional meetings, fascinating topics, and free-flowing swag.

I wanted to take a minute to mention something you may have noticed on this year’s schedule, though – there are a ton of wonderful workshops, posters, and exhibitor booths focusing on authentic Indigenous stories. As an Anishinaabe children’s librarian, it’s a gift to see the major uptick in authentic representation and publishing of #ownvoices. Major highlights include:

  • Author signings by luminaries like Angeline Boulley, Carole Lindstrom, Stephen Graham Jones, Traci Sorrell, and Micaela Goade
  • Workshops on topics like NAGPRA in the public library, the Talk Story project, understanding land acknowledgements, and food as medicine
  • Posters about building tribal communities, using culturally responsive picture books, and diversifying your library

As you can see, there’s a ton to learn this year by, for, and about Indigenous peoples in a respectful way. Please be sure to check some of these incredible resources out! Gichi miigwech (thank you very much) for reading, and I’ll see you on the exhibit hall floor!

Aanii boozhoo nwiijiikwenhak! Waganakasing Odawak ndaadibendaagwaz, mshiiken ndodem. Allie Genia ndizhinikaaz. (Translation: Hello friends! My name is Allie Genia (they/them/theirs). They are a member of the Turtle Clan of the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians. ) They are a Children’s Librarian at the DC Public Library in Washington, DC. They’re a member of this year’s Emerging Leaders cohort and they’re excited to attend an ALA Annual Conference in Chicago! They are looking forward to being near Lake Michigan for the whole weekend. When not presenting a story time, you can often find them making things, practicing music, or playing video games, although this weekend they will be indulging in Chicago-style pizza as much as humanly possible. They also write Mzinigan Mshiiken, a book review blog focusing on diverse voices in children’s literature.

Please note that as a guest post, the views expressed here do not represent the official position of ALA or ALSC.

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