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!