In 1997, the British Columbia Library Association, the First Nations Interest Group, and the University of British Columbia First Nations House of Learning created an endowed scholarship in honour of Gene Joseph (MLS, 1982). The Gene Joseph Scholarship is awarded to an Aboriginal graduate student at the University of British Columbia’s School of Library Archives and Information Studies (SLAIS). The award is made on the recommendation of the SLAIS, the First Nations House of Learning, and Faculty of Graduate Studies.
Former Head Librarian of the Xwi7xwa Library (First Nations House of Learning Library) at the University of British Columbia, Gene Joseph is of Wet’suwet’en – Nadleh Whut’en descent. She is from the small village of Hagwilget in northern British Columbia. She has nearly three decades of experience in developing libraries for First Nations tribal councils, bands and organizations. One of Gene’s career highlights was the development of a legal research library for the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’en First Nations in the Delgamuukw et al v. the Queen et al aboriginal title court case. It was one of the largest court cases held in Canada, as well as one of the first to extensively use computer systems in and out of the courtroom. More importantly to the First Nations people, there was extensive use of oral history in support of the case. Gene continues her commitment to aboriginal title through her work for the Haida aboriginal title case, work with the EAGLE (Environmental Aboriginal Guardianship through Law and Education) organization from 2002 to 2006. She presently advises and oversees research and litigation support for the Haida Aboriginal Title Case at White Raven Law.