A Library Matter of Genocide


This session examines a selection of 50 books listed in the WorldCat library catalogue on the subject of Native American Genocide -- the titles of which include variations of the terms genocide, holocaust or extermination – and finds that all but two are described with euphemistic terms such as “Indians of North America – Government relations.” I argue that the library’s ideologically-situated “power to name” (Olson) can help to reinforce politically convenient but unjust narratives regarding historical and contemporary genocides, and in contradicting the intent of the authors of these books actually comprises a form of holocaust denial, as well as a barrier to reconciliation. As a pathway towards reconciliation in library science, sources of Indigenous and progressive alternative terminologies and tools are introduced that can promote more accurate retrieval of — and, more importantly, honest engagements with — Native American genocide literature.


Michael Dudley

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