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Continuing Education: iPortal Feature

SHIRP presents opportunities and information to help you meet your CE needs.

Welcome to the iPortal

image of the iPortal's homepage

The iPortal (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, 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 iPortal. 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 iPortal's tutorial page.

Keyword Searching

At the top of the homepage is a search box that allows iPortal users to search by keyword. A second box contains a dropdown menu which functions to limit a search by resource type.

Advanced Search

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). Then one would select "And" from the drop-down menu in the Combine Fields With field to obtain a list of result that list Evan Adams as an author and have the word "COVID" in the description.

Browse By Category

Finally, one can search/browse for resources in the iPortal using the different knowledge categories that appear on the shell of the turtle graphic on the iPortal's home page:


Clicking on one of the labeled sections in the turtle's shells will bring up a list of subcategories that will help to further narrow one's search. 


Once a subcategory has been selected the iPortal will return a list of results for that selection. Above the list of results an iPortal 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.

The second option that users of the iPortal have at this point is related to resource type. The series of tabs immediately about the results list break the results into different formats. The iPortal always shows Scholarly Articles as a default, but there are almost always a variety of different resource available on a subject.

Using the Maps Function

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.