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Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

A major gap in APA 7th edition is its lack of citation and referencing guidelines for Indigenous knowledge; in the past, Indigenous knowledge has often been cited as personal communication, which undervalues the information being cited. Using proper citing and referencing is one way to ensure Indigenous knowledge is given the same weight and value as information found in books and journal articles.

The below formulas were developed by Lorisia MacLeod in collaboration with the staff at the NorQuest Indigenous Student Centre. We will continue to be led by Indigenous community members on how to cite and reference information from Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers.

A note: Before using Indigenous knowledge, be sure that it is information you have permission to share and are respecting sharing protocols. If you’re unsure, speak with Indigenous elders and knowledge keepers about these protocols.


Indigenous Elders & Knowledge Keepers


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.


Cardinal, D. Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6. Lives in Edmonton. Oral teaching. Personal communication. April 4, 2004.