First Nations House – Indigenous Student Services offers students the opportunity to meet with Traditional Teachers for support, guidance and teachings. Opportunities to meet one-on-one with Traditional Teachers is important for Indigenous community members. The University is committed to forming and affirming respectful relationships with Traditional Teachers and the Indigenous knowledges they carry. Individuals recognized by the Indigenous community of Toronto as Traditional Teachers are respected and honoured as keepers of wisdom.
Visiting Traditional Teachers
The University of Toronto is located in the territory known as the Dish with One Spoon. First Nations House Indigenous Student Services invites Traditional Teachers from a variety of communities and experiences to provide teachings. To find out when the next teaching is being held, check out our events listings on our Facebook page, follow us on Twitter, Instagram or TikTok, or subscribe to the FNH newsletter to receive weekly information about upcoming events and opportunities.
All U of T students, staff and faculty
Booking & Documentation
To book an appointment with a Traditional Teacher in Residence, please contact First Nation’s House reception at 416-978-8227 or email@example.com.
You are asked to acknowledge and follow the Traditional Teacher Protocol when meeting with a Traditional Teacher.
The Traditional Teacher Protocol
The University of Toronto is located in the territory known as the Dish with One Spoon.
The University is committed to forming and affirming respectful relationships with Traditional Teachers and the Indigenous knowledge they carry. Individuals recognized by the Indigenous community of Toronto as Traditional Teachers are respected and honoured as keepers of wisdom.
In order to maintain a respectful relationship with Traditional Teachers at First Nations House, the following protocols should be followed.
A gift is offered in recognition of the wisdom the Traditional Teacher will share. A gift, such as tobacco in the form of a tobacco tie (tobacco wrapper in a small, square cloth), can be given and are available at the front desk. Offering tobacco to an Traditional Teacher establishes a relationship between you and the Traditional Teacher. It is protocol to offer tobacco to Traditional Teacher when you ask them to share their knowledge.
Start by introducing yourself: if possible and applicable state your name, your traditional territory, your clan, and present territory. Please note that it is important to be specific in making your request. If the Traditional Teacher accepts the tobacco s/he is accepting the request and will do her/his best to help you. If they cannot do what you are asking they will say so and not accept the tobacco.
When offering tobacco, place it in front of the Traditional Teacher and state your request. By picking up the tobacco, The Traditional Teacher has accepted your request. If you hand it directly to the Traditional Teacher, you do not give her/him the opportunity to accept your request and it takes away their choice.
Do not touch sacred objects used by Traditional Teachers (pipes, eagle feathers, medicine pouches, etc.) unless the Traditional Teacher has given you permission. Photographs of these objects should not be taken unless permission has been granted by the Traditional Teacher who cares for these items.
What Students Are Saying3 votes
The guidance, support, and knowledge shared with me through our Elders have been essential to my success as a student. I would highly recommend seeking support for your spiritual, mental, physical and emotional quadrants of self during your time in the community. The door is always open and you are welcomed with a warm smile.