Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

Here’s something useful, via the library at U of Alberta:

This short article summarizes the contents of the following project report:

MacLeod, Lorisia. 2021. More Than Personal Communication: Templates For Citing Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies 5(1). doi:10.18357/kula.135. More Than Personal Communication | KULA: Knowledge Creation, Dissemination, and Preservation Studies (7 February, 2022).

In this project report, I introduce the citation templates for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers that I created in partnership with the staff of the NorQuest Indigenous Student Centre. These citation templates have been adopted/linked to by twenty-five institutions across Canada and the United States. They represent an attempt to formalize something that Indigenous scholars have been doing for decades: fighting to find a better way to acknowledge our voices and knowledges within academia.

Here are examples of the citation format described in both APA and MLA flavors:

APA

  1. Last name, First initial.
  2. Nation/Community.
  3. Treaty Territory if applicable.
  4. Where they live if applicable.
  5. Topic/subject of communication if applicable.
  6. “personal communication.”
  7. Month Date, Year.*

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

MLA

  1. Last name, First name.
  2. Nation/Community.
  3. Treaty Territory if applicable.
  4. City/Community they live in if applicable.
  5. Topic/subject of communication if applicable.
  6. Date Month Year.*

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

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Most journal styles explicitly say not to include personal communications in the reference list, but “Oral teaching” or “oral text” makes it a different genre. Some argue that reference lists are only for “published” works but a) linguists violate that all the time with their manuscripts and (in prep)

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