BU Teaching House

Indigenous Tipi & BU

The Teaching House is the vision for a gathering place for the sharing of knowledge and teachings for all nations – created for connection, relationship and community. It is a place for students, staff and community.  Initial events and conversations are a starting place that will help shape the Teaching House vision – inviting, including and involving many voices.

– Cree Knowledge Keeper, Susie McPherson-Derendy

Bringing Community Together.

The BU Teaching House brings community together to learn from one another, with initial teachings and circles led by local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders.

With different topics and teachings each month, members of the campus and broader community are invited to gather, listen and share. While the first circles will be hosted virtually through Zoom, the intent is to come back together for in-person gatherings to enjoy tea, bannock and connection.


BU Teaching House – Upcoming Gatherings

November 2021

BU Teaching House: Indigenous Language & Culture

November 3, 12:40pm – 2:30pm

Join this language circle gathering with Knowledge Keepers & William (Bill) Cook, BU Assistant Professor of Cree Language and Culture. All are welcome!

September 2021

BU Teaching House: Residential Schools
September 29 (CANCELLED)

Knowledge Keepers share experiences and community impacts resulting from the hard truths of Canada’s Residential School system. This virtual gathering is a time to listen, reflect, and set intentions for action. All are welcome!

This gathering has been cancelled and will be rescheduled.

A welcoming space to share and learn.

Inspired by the works of Indigenous scholars Verna Kirkness and Ray Barnhardt and discussions with local Knowledge Keepers and Elders, we will meet in a way that reflects the 4 Rs:

  • Respect – For the land we gather on and lessons it offers. For the teachings and traditions shared by Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders. For the stories shared by all in attendance – both Indigenous and non-Indigenous guests.
  • Relevance – We reflect on the stories and personal experiences that are shared and consider how they relate to our own. In doing so, we build on and expand understanding of ourselves in relation to those around us and the world we live in.
  • Responsibility – We create and contribute to a space that honours Indigenous knowledges and cultures, celebrates the voices of young people, and brings people with diverse backgrounds and experiences together.
  • Reciprocity – We listen to and learn from the knowledge, stories and experiences of others, while also offering our own (give and take). In doing so, we cultivate mutually respectful relationships from which we all benefit.

The BU Teaching House is an initiative of the Indigenous Education Senate Sub-Committee.

BU Teaching House Logo


Thorne, R. (2019, August 26). Teaching Through the Four Rs of Indigenous Education: Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity and Responsibility. Learning Bird. Retrieved from https://learningbird.com/teaching-through-the-four-rs-of-indigenous-education-respect-relevance-reciprocity-and-responsibility/

Kirkness, V. J. and R. Barnhardt (2001). First Nations and Higher Education: The Four R’s -Respect, Relevance, Reciprocity, Responsibility. Knowledge Across Cultures: A Contribution to Dialogue Among Civilizations. R. Hayoe and J. Pan. Hong Kong, Comparative Education Research Centre, The University of Hong Kong