Requesting an Elder or Knowledge Keeper

may sam elder
Elder May Sam opening with a prayer in the Ceremonial Hall.

The University of Victoria recognizes that SELW̱ÁN ȽTE Elders carry an important role in the Indigenous communities in which this valuable knowledge is distributed throughout all nationalities. Knowledge Keepers are individuals who hold cultural knowledge. A Knowledge Keeper does not have to be an Elder, but can conduct similar or the same duties as an Elder.

Please keep the following points in mind before making a request.

  • It is custom to ensure that the SELW̱ÁN ȽTE Elder/Knowledge Keeper receives an honorarium in respect of the time and knowledge that will be shared (for honorarium amounts, please contact the Cultural Protocol Liaison)
  • Along with an honorarium it is appropriate to gift the Elder/Knowledge Keeper with a small gift (for advice about gifts, please contact the Cultural Protocol Liaison);
  • Please offer clear directions for parking for the SELW̱ÁN ȽTE Elder/Knowledge Keeper upon arrival or prior to the event;
  • It is a traditional teaching to provide food, beverage and/or a light snack to the SELW̱ÁN ȽTE Elder/Knowledge Keeper prior to the event.

All requests for a SELW̱ÁN ȽTE Elder/Knowledge Keeper will go through the Cultural Protocol Liaison, to ensure that they are done in an appropriate manner that follows the protocol of the Elder/Knowledge Keeper. 

All requests for Elders must be submitted two weeks prior to your event. Last minute requests will not be accepted. We apologize if our procedures cause you inconvenience, however, we are working purposely to support our Elders in all that they do, and this means considerable time lines and pre-planning.  

To assist with the Elders' transportation on-campus, IACE has a golf cart we encourage event organizers to use. Please contact Darlene Masso at  for more information on the use of the golf cart.

Book an Elder or Knowledge Keeper

Before completing this form, please review the Guidelines of protocol, hosting and payment for *SELWÁN ȽTE, Knowledge Keepers and Community Members.

This form is for internal bookings (i.e., those made by UVic units and/or groups for events hosted by the university). You will need a FAST Account to complete the form. We are unable to arrange bookings for events hosted by non-UVic groups.