As we move through the decolonization process we see iterative change in the language used to describe Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities. When using the I-Portal, these language changes can have a dramatic effect on the results returned by the portal's search engine.
As seen above, a search for the word "Cree" returns 1478 results while a search for "Nehiyawak" returns 7 (below).
Learning the way that the word choices you make affects the number of results your search returns, and the different biases that may be contained in those resources, is an important part of using the iPortal.
The I-Portal (Indigenous Studies Portal) is a library database containing an index of full-text resources pertaining to Indigenous peoples, cultures and communities. It can be found at http://iportal.usask.ca, and is an excellent tool for accessing information on a variety of topics, including health.
There are a number of different ways to search and/or browse for resources in the I-Portal. The following sections of this page will offer some guidance in searching for health-related information. More general search information can be found on the I-Portal's tutorial page.
At the top of the homepage is a search box that allows I-Portal users to search by keyword. Once you perform a search, the results page will allow you to filter results by Open Access, resource type, subject, date, location, and/or language.
The advanced search button, found on the right side of the screen just below the navigation bar, allows the user to access a series of different search fields that can be combined to create a more targeted search.
So. Let's say, for example, that one wanted to know what BC First Nations Health Authority Chief Medical Officer Dr. Evan Adams had to say about COVID-19. One would type "Evan Adams" into the Author field and "COVID" into the Description field (or possibly the Title field, but either returns the same results in this case).
Finally, one can browse for resources in the I-Portal using the different knowledge categories that appear on the turtle's scutes (or from the list of subject headings).
Clicking on one of the sections in the turtle's scutes will bring up a list of subcategories that will help to further narrow your search.
Once a subcategory has been selected the I-Portal will return a list of results for that selection. Above the list of results an I-Portal user will find a couple more options to help refine their search. The first of these are sub-subcategories. Depending on the category in question, there maybe additional categorical divisions listed at the top of the page; selecting one of these categories will further refine the results list. This example offers sub-subcategories of "Colonial" and "Contemporary."
The iPortal also has a page which shows the First Nations in Western Canada on a map. This can be accessed from the homepage by clicking on the Maps tap in the site's navigational menu.
Once on the Maps page an iPortal user can select one of the Western provinces and territories to see a list of and markers for the First Nations within that space. The province of Saskatchewan is the default.
The user can use the zoom buttons on the map to select a location, or the menu to the right of the map to select a specific First Nation.
By clicking on an individual map marker, an iPortal user will be able to see a list of the articles indexed in the Portal that have be tagged as pertaining to that nation.
The University of Saskatchewan's main campus is situated on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis.
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