How to acknowledge oral teachings from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders and Knowledge keepers in your referencing.
Oral teachings and storytelling are core to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and have continued since time immemorial. Oral teachings and knowledge must be attributed correctly to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander knowledge keepers and Elders to respectfully acknowledge their importance.
Note: In APA 7th, personal communications are only added as an in-text citation.
Initials. Family name. (Language Group or Traditional Country). Topic/subject of communication if applicable. (personal communication, Month Date, Year).
You can replace “personal communication” with “yarn” where appropriate (e.g. if using a yarning methodology).
If you are an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person writing about your own experiences, you do not need to provide any form of citation (either in-text or in the reference list). However, you may wish to acknowledge your Nation, Language Group or Traditional Country in your writing to contextualise the information you are sharing.
Reference list examples
Single Elder or Knowledge keeper
T. Barker (Muruwarri). Lightning Ridge. Traditional artefact making practices (personal communication, October 12, 2019).
Two or more Elders or Knowledge keepers
T. Bunda (Ngugi & Wakka Wakka) & S. Phillips (Gooreng Gooreng & Wakka Wakka). Brisbane. Aboriginal place names (personal communication, November 02, 2004).
Group or organisation
Dharriwaa Elders Group. (Wayamba & Yuwaalaraay & Ngayiimbaa). Traditional bush foods. (Personal communication, January 10, 2000).