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MLA Citation Style, 8th Edition: Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers

A University of Lethbridge Library guide to MLA style citations.

With thanks to Lorisia MacLeod at NorQuest College for providing this template:

The MLA style guide does not have a format for Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers. However, NorQuest College has suggested the following format, and we thank them for allowing us to share this template. 

Unlike most other personal communications, Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list. The in-text citation format should be formatted as:

Delores Cardinal described the nature of the...


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

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

Last name, First name., Nation/Community. Treaty Territory if applicable. City/Community they live in if applicable. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Month Date, Year. 

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

Citing Other Sources

This section provides examples of citations for a variety of sources not covered in other sections.  The letters IT designate an in-text parenthetical citation while WC marks a works cited entry. Please navigate to one of the pages below:

For more information and examples, be sure to consult the MLA Handbook. The numbers at the top of each page listed above refer to sections and page numbers in the handbook.