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Indigenous Traditional Knowledge and Research


Royal Military College of Canada Aboriginal Leadership Opportunity Year

Welcome to the Aboriginal Education and Traditional Knowledge research guide

This guide is for faculty and students who wish to deepen their understanding of Indigenous approaches to education, and to Traditional Knowledge.

This is a living resource for the campus community and we welcome your suggestions for additions to the guide, please email Trina

OCAP Principles

If your research includes working with Indigenous people, consider how you interact with the data you are collecting. The First Nations principles of ownership, control, access, and possession – more commonly known as OCAP® – assert that First Nations have control over data collection processes, and that they own and control how this information can be used. FNIGC offers a variety of education and training options to help you understand how to conduct your research with respect.

Citing Elders and Knowledge Keepers

Download the Guide Working with Elders before you approach a Knowledge Keeper for information.
MLA Style Citation

The MLA citation style in the spirit of wahkôhtowin and reconciliation was developed by Lorisia McLeod, who is from the James Smith Cree Nation. Elders and Knowledge Keepers should be cited in-text and in the reference list.

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

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


APA 7 Style Citation

Last name, First initial., Nation/Community. Location including Treaty Territory if applicable. Personal communication. Month Date, Year

Example: Cardinal, D., Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Treaty 6, Edmonton, Alberta. Personal communication. April 4, 2004.


Chicago Style Citation

The Chicago Style citation guidance was developed by Kwantlen Polytechnic University.

First Footnote: First Names Last Name (Elder), Nation, Topic/subject of communication if applicable, Personal communication, Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared, Month Date, Year.

Subsequent Footnote: Last Name, "Shortened title", page number.

Example: Delores Cardinal (Elder), Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Living in Treaty 6. Personal communication. Edmonton, Alberta. April 4, 2004.

Subsequent Footnote Example: Delores, "Living in Treaty 6", 35.

Bibliography: Last Name, First Names (Elder), Nation. Topic/subject of communication if applicable. Personal communication. Territorial acknowledgement of where the information was shared. Month Date, Year.

Example: Cardinal, Delores (Elder), Goodfish Lake Cree Nation. Living in Treaty 6. Personal communication. Edmonton, Alberta, April 4, 2004.

Local organizations and library collections to consult for your research

Academic and personal support for students


Gdoo-maawnjidimi Mompii Indigenous Student Services  



  Student Learning Support

  • Writing Support
  • Study Skills and Transition Support