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Indigenous Citation Guide

Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers in MLA

The MLA Handbook 8th Edition does not include explicit direction as to how to cite and respectfully acknowledge Indigenous Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers. 

Norquest College Library has put together some guidance on this in the spirit of reconciliation. The following is adapted from their MLA support guide, and full credit and acknowledgment for this goes to them. 

Citing Indigenous Elders and Indigenous Knowledge Keepers follows the general format of personal communication. However, rather than just citing this information and knowledge in-text, you must also include it in your Works Cited list. 

In-text citations are formatted as follows:

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the...


The nature of the place was ... (Cardinal). 

For your Works Cited list the format is as follows:

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.

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.