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Indigenous Resources

First Nations and Indigenous Citation

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). from UBC's First Nations and Indigenous Studies Citation Page

Citing Elders

The formal APA, MLA, and Chicago style do not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. Work is being done to unpack citation and how it reinforces colonial voices and ways of knowing. For more information on the politics of citation please watch Decolonizing Citation by Bronwen McKie.

Capilano University recognizes the Universities and Colleges that have contributed to the most used citation styles. Norquest College has developed the following citation styles in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation, and is thanked for sharing their template for MLA and APA styles. Kwantlen University added a few elements as recommended by their Elder in Residence Lekeyten. Kwantlen University has also made additions to the Norquest College guide which are noted in red text. Kwantlen University collaborated with the University of British Columbia and Simon Fraser University to adapt a Chicago citation style. Please note all colour coding is for your assistance in identifying citation components. Please do not actually use colored text in your work.

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: 

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

Reference:

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

Last name, First names initials. (Elder)Nation/Community. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. personal communication. Year, Month Date. Territory Acknowledgement of where information was shared/collected.

For example: Lekeyten (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation. Community justice. personal communication. 2019, April 4. Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem Peoples.   

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).

Work Cited:

The citation format for the reference list follows the following format: Author. Title. Date. Optional add-on. 

Last name, First namesElder, Nation/CommunityTopic/subject of communication if applicable. Personal communication, Date Month Year. Territorial Acknowledgement of where the information was shared/collected.

For Example: LekeytenElderKwantlen First Nation. Community Justice. Personal communication, 4 April 2019Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt and Kwikwetlem Peoples.  

Chicago Style

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

First Footnote:

First Names Last Name (Elder), NationTopic/subject of communication if applicablePersonal communication, Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared, Month Date, Year.

Example: Lekeyten (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation, Community Justice, Personal communication, Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, and Kwikwetlem Peoples, April 9, 2019.

Bibliography: 

Last Name, First Names (Elder), NationTopic/subject of communication if applicablePersonal communication. Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared. Month Date, Year.

Example: Lekeyten (Elder), Kwantlen First Nation. Community Justice. Personal communication. Shared on the traditional unceded territory of the Kwantlen, Musqueam, Katzie, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, Qayqayt, and Kwikwetlem Peoples. April 9, 2019.

 

Protocols for Approaching Elders

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. Please review the Authentic Engagement of First Nations and Metis Traditional Knowledge Keepers for guidance on initial Protocols when approaching Elders.

When in Doubt - ASK!

If you have any questions about citations or academic integrity that are not answered on these pages, be sure to ask for clarification from: