Tobacco Protocol

Tobacco is a sacred medicine for Indigenous peoples and it has many uses. It is often used in ceremony, for prayer, or to request guidance, teachings, or the sharing of knowledge and instructions from an Elder/knowledge keeper. In academic Indigenization, the protocol of offering tobacco is regularly practiced when making a request to an Elder/knowledge keeper. For these purposes, tobacco should be offered, if appropriate, when a request is made of an Elder/knowledge keeper to share their knowledge. This can include the ancestral, traditional, or Indigenous-centred knowledge that can be shared through teachings, story-telling, prayers (at a feast, gathering, or opening/closing prayer), or ceremonies.

When an offer of tobacco is made, it demonstrates that the request is genuine, respectful, and sincere. It is an act of appreciation and dedication to the Elder/knowledge keeper and their vast knowledge. When an offer of tobacco is made and accepted by an Elder/knowledge keeper, a contract has been made and both the requestor and the Elder/knowledge keeper ought to follow through with the agreement.

There is not a special type or form of tobacco that must be offered. Tobacco can be purchased at any drugstore, gas station, or tobacco merchant. Should you choose to gift organic tobacco, you can contact the Office of Indigenization for information about organic suppliers.

Smoking on Campus

Smudging/Pipe Ceremonies