Situating the self (Wilson, 2008) is a practice many Indigenous scholars participate in. Situating the self is an act of humility and respect. By situating yourself you respectfully acknowledge those who have come before you. By situating yourself within a work, you also humble yourself, by acknowledging your perspective as one of many. We will discuss this in more detail later, but situating the self is one component for accessing credibility within an Indigenous context.
My name is Rachel Chong. I am an urban Métis-European-settler married into a Chinese-migrant family. My maternal grandfather is Métis from the Red River Settlement in what we now call Manitoba, St. Boniface. My grandfather moved to what we now call Vancouver in the 70’s to escape the racism he experienced in Manitoba; as a result, I was born and raised on Coast Salish territory. It is through my grandfather’s history that I am able to claim membership to the Métis Nation of British Columbia.
As with many urban Métis, reconnecting with my Indigenous ancestry has been a deep learning journey. I was not immersed in this side of my culture at birth. My Indigeneity is something I have had to claim as an adult through genealogical research and cultural immersion. I am grateful to many family members, colleagues, and mentors who have helped me along this journey.
When assessing possible Master in Library and Information Studies programs, I was attracted to the University of British Columbia, because they advertised a First Nations Curriculum Concentration. It is through this program, intensive reading, and gradual relationship building that I approach my work as a library professional in the field of Indigenous Librarianship. I am incredibly blessed with the tremendous support of my Indigenous Librarian colleagues who have helped shape and guide my learning.
Please note: More information on situating the author will be provided in the following chapter.