Skip to Main Content

Indigenous Topics

Resources on Indigenous art, history, and contemporary movements

Citing Elders and Knowledge Keepers

These guidelines were developed by Norquest College in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation.The formal MLA and APA style do not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. 

Citation format for the reference list:

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.

In-text citation format 

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the... (2004)


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

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


For more details on citing Indigenous Knowledge, see the link below       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC