Edmonton Public Library
Mâmawô ayâwin, nehiyawewin for “all being together,” is EPL’s new program in support of Indigenous services at the library. This campaign is an extension of EPL’s work to promote public dialogue about truth and reconciliation, and positions gathering as fundamental to our community work. The program has already reached thousands of Edmontonians.
EPL is committed to responding to the 94 TRC Calls to Action. In 2016, we launched a program to deepen understanding about residential schools. As recent events remind us, the journey towards reconciliation is ongoing. Working with Indigenous communities, we have seen an evolution in the dialogue and the role public libraries can play in Indigenous cultural resurgence. With Mâmawô ayâwin, EPL continues the dialogue about hard truths while also learning, discussing and celebrating Indigenous history and cultures.
Key Elements of Innovation
EPL works with the Indigenous community to develop and deliver Mâmawô ayâwin. The name is in nehiyawewin, meaning “all being together,” and is significant to the land on which EPL is located. Recognizing the powerful role of imagery in storytelling, EPL commissioned local Indigenous artist Lance Cardinal to create the stunning illustration.
The program provides Edmontonians ways to engage online and offline, including speaker presentations from community and thought leaders, language classes and resource sharing.
Since its August 2021 launch, social media posts received 49,000 views and the landing page received 1,410 page views — a 300%+ year-over-year increase. Videos featuring artist Lance Cardinal were viewed 18,000+ times across EPL’s social media channels. Feedback was very positive. Initial events have been well-received including a panel discussion with Indigenous thought leaders with 100 attendees. Online Cree language classes average 50 registrations per session, compared to 37 per class last year.