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Elements of Indigenous Style provides guidelines to help writers, editors, and publishers produce material that reflects Indigenous Peoples in an appropriate and respectful manner.

Gregory Younging, a member of the Opaskwayak Cree Nation in Northern Manitoba, has been the managing editor of Theytus Books, the first Indigenous-owned publishing house in Canada, for over 13 years. Elements of Indigenous Style evolved from the house style guide Gregory developed at Theytus in order to ensure content was consistent and respectful.

This guide contains:

  • A historical overview of the portrayal of Indigenous Peoples in literature
  • Common errors and how to avoid them when writing about Indigenous peoples
  • Guidance on working in a culturally sensitive way
  • A discussion of problematic and preferred terminology
  • Suggestions for editorial guidelines

Table of Contents

1. Why an Indigenous style guide?
2. A history of the portrayal of Indigenous Peoples in literature
3. Contemporary Indigenous cultural realities
4. The cultural rights of Indigenous Peoples
5. Culturally appropriate publishing practices for Indigenous authors and content
6. Terminology
7. Specific editorial issues
Appendix A: Summary of Indigenous style principles
Appendix B: Draft principles of the Indigenous Editors Circle
Appendix C: Compilations of names of Indigenous Peoples
Appendix D: Gnaritas Nullius (No One’s Knowledge): the Essence of Traditional Knowledge and Its Colonization through Western Legal Regimes, by Gregory Younging

Gregory Younging

Gregory Younging is a Member of Opaskwayak Cree Nation in nothern Manitoba. He has an MA from Carleton University, a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University, and a PhD from the Department of Educational Studies at UBC. From 1990 to 2004, he was managing editor of Theytus Books, and currently is its publisher. He was assistant director of research for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. He was on the faculty of the Indigenous Editors Circle at Humber College, Toronto, until 2017, and currently teaches in Indigenous Studies at UBC Okanagan.