Skip to main content

Indigenous Librarianship

Citational Politics and Relations

"A number of Indigenous feminists and other scholars of colour have advocated powerfully for a more mindful and ethical consideration of our citational practices in academia. I think here especially of the work of Audra Simpson (Mohawk) and Jodi Byrd (Chickasaw), Sara Ahmed's feministkilljoys blog, and the Citational Practices Challenge by Eve Tuck (Unangax), K. Wayne Yang, and Rubén Gaztambide-Fernández—and especially that we not continue to replicate the closed circuit of white heteropatriarchy in affirming the same group of voices over and over again." (From Why Indigenous Literatures Matter by Daniel Heath Justice).

Indigenous Citation and Style Guides

General Resources at Xwi7xwa

Citing Elders

The formal MLA and APA style do not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. 

Norquest College has developed the following citation styles in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation, and we thank them for sharing their template.

APA Style

Unlike other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list.

In Text:

The in-text citation format should follow the same guidelines as noted in the paraphrase and direct quote tabs: 

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... (2004). OR The nature of the place was... (Cardinal, 2004).

Reference:

The citation format for the reference list follows the following format:

Last name, First initial., Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. Where they live if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. personal communication. Month Date, Year.

For example: Cardinal, D., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. personal communication. April 4, 2004.

MLA Style

Unlike most other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list.

In text:

The in-text citation format should be formatted as:

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... OR The nature of the place was... (Cardinal).

Reference Citation:

The citation format for the reference list follows the following format:

Last name, First name., Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. City/Community they live in if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Date Month Year. 

For Example: Cardinal, Delores., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. 4 April 2004.

Note: If you would like to approach an Elder or Knowledge Keeper for teachings, remember to follow protocol or if you are unsure what their protocol is, please ask them ahead of time.