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Elders in residence and traditional knowledge keepers

Preparing a Tobacco Tie

Tobacco can be given in a pouch prepared by wrapping the tobacco in a piece of cotton cloth and tied with cotton string. There are circumstances when even a cigarette could be offered. The Elder coordinator will advise you when the offering of a cigarette is appropriate. The minimum amount of tobacco offered is the amount needed to fill the bowl of a pipe. 

Tobacco is a sacred medicine and only commercial tobacco or tobacco in its natural form (kinnikinic) is acceptable. Some people have asked if a mixture of “healthy” herbs or other medicines can be used instead of tobacco —the answer is NO. Whatever your views on tobacco, it is one of the four sacred medicines to Indigenous people and specifically used for requests to Elders.

Tobacco ties are typically offered when approaching an Elder. Please contact the Elder coordinator ( if you need guidance on how to prepare tobacco ties.