Thursday, September 18, 2014
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Checking out Alberta's first public library on a reserve

The Kainai Public Library opened in February on the Blood Tribe's reserve in Southern Alberta

CBC News

Hundreds of people have picked up library cards in a Southern Alberta community that is home to the first public library on a First Nation in the province.

Hundreds of books line the shelves at the Kainai Public Library in Standoff on the Blood Tribe’s reserve. Card holders have access to thousands more through the Chinook Arch Regional Library System.

“It's actually very nice to have a library on the reserve we can go to,” said Quincy Davis, who is in Grade 9.

Anyone can get a card at the library and the Blood Tribe covers the fees for people who live on the reserve.

The library's manager, Linda Weasel Head, said it's a huge step forward for her community.

"Literacy and poverty go hand in hand so as soon as you get a society – a community – that has high literacy levels, poverty goes down."

The library also has a growing collection of First Nations' literature, which makes committee member Hali Heavy Shield proud.

"We have a really rich history of culture and story telling and literacy in terms of language and song and our traditions and we wanted just to bring books into that."

The Kainai Public Library opened in February.

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