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Master of Fine Arts

A guide to library research for MFA students

Citation Style Guides

MLA Citation Guides

APA Citation Guides

Chicago Citation Guides

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

Writing and Citing Resources

Emily Carr Writing Centre

Writing Handbooks

Style Guides

Citation Management

What is Zotero?

  • Zotero is a free and easy to use tool for quickly documenting your research from the library catalogue, article databases, websites, blogs, images, videos, PDFs and really anything else. The power of Zotero is to link your documented research sources with the work that you do in Microsoft Word, Open Office or Google Docs and it works right within your browser.


  • The ECU Library recommends using the most current version of Zotero for collecting, organizing and citing your research sources.
  • Install Zotero and Zotero Connector (for your favourite browser) on your computer. There are also many plugins that allow you to interface with many other programs like WordPress, Word, Google Docs ...
  • Getting started and using Zotero
  • New - Just need a quick bibliography? Try ZoteroBib

Other Guides to Zotero       604-844-3840        520 East 1st Avenue, Vancouver, BC