Elders Council Terms of Reference

Lakehead University Aboriginal Management Council

Elders Council Terms of Reference


The purpose of the Lakehead University Aboriginal Management Council’s

Elders Council is to:

• act as an advisory council, exercising their collective wisdom and knowledge

to reinforce the vision and mission statements of Lakehead University and

the AMC;

• give priority to the needs of Aboriginal students;

• advise the AMC and the LU Aboriginal community on issues concerning

Aboriginal Initiatives;

• provide guidance and advice to strengthen the university community in their

work on Aboriginal issues; and

• assist in addressing concerns on Aboriginal issues at LU that arise both

internally and externally and make recommendations and assist in decisions

regarding Aboriginal languages, traditions and culture.


• Provide vision, leadership and guidance to the Lakehead University

community on Aboriginal issues.

• Recommend and provide advice and information on traditional knowledge

and cultural and spiritual values.

• Assist in the education of the Lakehead University community, especially

the students, about Aboriginal languages, culture and traditions.

• Establish protocols for culturally appropriate behaviour.

• Conduct certain cultural ceremonies.

• Provide contacts for alternate Elders to carry out duties, if members of the

Elders Council are not available.

• Act as mediators in the case of conflict over cultural protocols, with the

understanding that the protocols of this Elders Council are based on the

cultural practices of the Anishinabe of this territory.

• Staff the Elders Lounge in Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services for

individual visits for 1/2/day/month and/or on request.

• Arrange a monthly workshop on a cultural activity and/or teaching.

• Act as advisors to university staff and faculty in their dealings with

Aboriginal students, programming, curriculum and cultural services.

• Provide input to the Aboriginal Management Council as requested.


The Elders Council will try to maintain the traditional relationships that took

place in communities, that is with those who need the guidance of the Elders

approaching them with a gift of respect, asking for their help.

a) Council Membership & Structure:

Membership on the LU AMC Elders

Council will be a life-time appointment. If a member of the Council is no

longer willing or able to serve on the Council, that member will advise

the AMC of their intentions. The current composition of the Elders

Committee is attached. This membership list will be updated annually by

Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services.

b) Frequency of Meetings:

The Elders Council will meet a minimum of 4

times/year or at the call of Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services if

there is a specific issue that requires immediate attention. Two of the

regularly scheduled meetings will be dinner meetings. The other two

meetings will be held on campus and members of the Aboriginal

Management Council, Aboriginal staff, faculty and programs will be

invited to attend.

c) Contact Person:

Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services will be the

contact person for the Elders Council. For students, the Aboriginal

Student Liaison Advisor will act as a contact person.

d) Minute-Taking:

Minutes of Elders Council meetings will be taken by the

secretary of Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services and distributed at

the next meeting.

e) Decision-Making Procedures:

The Elders Council will operate by

mutual consent of their members. A quorum is a majority of the

members present at a meeting.

f) Communication of Decisions: The Elders Council will report on their

recommendations to the Office of Aboriginal Initiatives or, if needed,

directly to the AMC. AMC minutes will be provided to the Elders Council

by Aboriginal Cultural and Support Services.

g) Honoraria:

In the spirit of the traditional gift exchange, Elders will be

given an honorarium of $50 for time spent at a meeting. Faculties or

departments seeking the advice of the Elders Council will assume the

costs of honoraria and expenses.

h) Monitoring:

The Elders Council will review annually their Terms of

Reference and functioning as a Council.


Drafted by Peggy Smith following Elders Council Meeting, Oct. 25/06, with feedback from

Susan Bebonang. Approved by Elders Council Nov. 22/06. Revised at Elders Council Meeting

Apr. 9/09.