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Learning Module: Indigenous Perspectives & Primary Junior Social Studies: Recommended Search Strategies

A guide on how to find indigenous perspectives on topics taught in the Ontario primary-junior social studies curriculum

Find Books by keyword

The default search for WorldCat is a keyword search. 

To start a keyword search you want to identify your topic and then the keywords in the question or subject matter of your topic

Example: I need resources on aboriginal history in Canada.

Keywords: aboriginal AND history AND Canada

Use the WorldCat catalog to perform your search
(i.e. aboriginal AND history AND Canada)

You'll notice that WorldCat retrieved over 6,000 results for aboriginal history in Canada. Think about some different ways to describe and/or refine your topic.

Use the keyword Huron instead Aboriginal or traditions instead of history or Ontario instead of Canada.


aboriginal AND history AND Ontario

aboriginal AND traditions AND Canada

aboriginal AND traditions AND Huron

You'll notice that the last search string retrieved fewer results. To expand your results try to think of other ways to describe the keywords in your topic.


Find books by subject heading

Searching by subject headings is one of the more efficient ways to find resources using the WorldCat catalog. This method of searching will limit your search resources that deal with your exact topic.

You can also use the subject headings contained in an item's record to lead you to other resources that deal with the exact same topic.

Example: The kids book of Aboriginal peoples in Canada

Use one of the following three subject headings on the right-hand side of the page to retrieve similar items:

su:Native peoples -- Canada -- History -- Juvenile literature.

su:Native peoples -- Canada -- Social life and customs -- Juvenile literature.

su:Indians of North America -- Canada.

You will notice the su: at the beginning of the search in the three WorldCat search examples listed above. This is called an index label. You can use the su: search index to search for other subject headings using the WorldCat catalog.

You can use the Library of Congress Subject Heading Search engine to find other subject headings used to describe resources related to Indigenous people and perspectives.

Library of Congress Subject Heading Search

Find books by call-number

Searching by call number is another way to search the Tyndale library collections. This method of searching will enable you to browse for similar items in the library similar to finding books in a book store.

A call number is a special number assigned to each item located in the library. Call numbers contain the item's subject and its physical location in the library. 

Your home on native land: a history of land-claims in Canada

Locate the call number in the library record (E 98 .L3 S42 2008) and then browse the other titles that are physically located in the area. 

If you want to physically browse the Tyndale Library collections, the following call number ranges are where most of the books on indigenous people can be found.

E 75 - E 99: Indians of North America
E 81 - E 83: Indian wars
E 99: Indian tribes and cultures

If you want to browse the call number ranges using the WorldCat catalog use the index label nu: to search the first set of alphanumeric characters:

Example: nu:E 99

Other strategies to refine your search

Once you've mastered the keyword, subject heading and call number searches you can try these other strategies to refine your search even more:

If you want to find Children's and Young Adults Literature click on the Juvenile Link on the left-hand side of the search results screen.

If you want to find Classroom Resources use the Index Label "b8: teaching tools" with your search term(s). Use the Index Label "kw:" for keywords. Example: b8:teaching tools kw:Indian?