Building the relationship
The success of any partnership is built on a relationship of respect, trust, and reciprocity. When working with Knowledge Keepers and Elders, do so with a genuine desire to cultivate the relationship, rather than viewing interactions as a one-time knowledge exchange or transaction.
Recognizing the distinct histories and cultural practices of Indigenous peoples and communities, there will be differences in how a Knowledge Keeper or Elder prefers to:
- receive an invitation or request
- be offered tobacco or other culturally appropriate item
- be addressed
The following guidelines for engaging respectfully with Knowledge Keepers and Elders are just that – guidelines. Remember, when in doubt — ASK!