Knowledge-keepers and elders
At Brandon University, we value and respect the important role of Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders, as keepers and teachers of Indigenous knowledge and cultural traditions. We recognize that when an Indigenous Knowledge Keeper or Elder shares their knowledge and traditions with the campus community work, life and learning on campus is elevated.
The following guidelines offer faculty, staff, students, and others insight into important considerations for respectfully engaging and working with Indigenous Knowledge Keepers or Elders, while recognizing the distinct histories, experiences, belief systems, and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples and communities.
Members of the campus community engage Knowledge Keepers and Elders in the sharing of Indigenous knowledge and experiences, both on and off campus, for activities such as University-related events, research, teaching and learning. The duration and purpose of these engagements vary. For example, Knowledge Keepers and Elders may be invited to:
- Offer a prayer at the beginning and/or end of an event
- Share knowledge as a guest speaker or co-instructor (e.g. in class, at a conference)
- Offer ceremony (e.g. smudge, pipe)
- Provide consultation and guidance in areas such as university governance, curriculum development and program re-design, and research projects
- Provide personal counselling to faculty, staff, and/or students
- Facilitate learning and healing through sharing circles
Building the relationship
The success of any partnership is built on a relationship of respect, trust, and reciprocity.
Extending an invitation / Making a request
Knowing the appropriate protocol and courtesies will start you off on the right foot.
Hosting a Knowledge-Keeper or Elder
From planning and logistics to the successful conclusion of an event, here are the items to consider.