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Askaakamigokwewigamig will continue to be an “open access” lodge to inspire sustainable and ethical reciprocity and responsibility for Indigenous-led self-determination with land as the central relationship. In recognition of cultural jurisdiction, the Lodge will be considered “the people’s lodge” and will not be dominated or conform to a singular cosmology.  The Lodge will respect and acknowledge the many (Turtle Island) Nations teachings, ceremonies and practices.

The primary Traditional Space Protocol for the Lodge is:  No drugs, No alcohol, No Violence. Her continued presence acknowledges land, healing and reconciliation as the relationship for mobilizing health, strengthening mental health and well-being and life promotion for students, faculty, staff and community.

To request use of this Traditional Space, please complete the Booking Request Form at least 10 days in advance of your requested date to allow for the Lodge Leadership to review and notify the appropriate people of your plan.
We ask that you respect all guidelines of the Lodge and surrounding New College Residence area. We’ve been working with the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto to provide safety measures so that we can hold a safe space for Ceremony, Sacred Fires and supporting community at the Lodge.

Although the Mother Earth Learning Lodge is an open lodge for all Indigenous community members – protocols and safety measures will need to be followed.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Roy Strebel (Waakebiness Research Coordinator) at

Are you the Indigenous Lead and/or Elder/Knowledge Holder?

When do you require the Lodge?

Will the gathering involve the lighting a fire outside the Lodge (i.e. sacred fire ceremony, smudging)?
Will the gathering involve a music component (i.e. drumming, flute, etc.)
Will the gathering involve dancing?
Will the gathering involve food (i.e. feast bundle?)

Code of Conduct

The lodge is a sacred place and a respected space to connect to the land; for facilitated learning as well as traditional practices/ceremonies (supervised sacred fire).

Ceremonies should only be facilitated by an Indigenous person. Please no pictures, videos or recordings of the lodge, or inside the Lodge without approval by the Indigenous Lead/Elder.

There is one designated firepit located outside the Lodge. This is the only area allowed for fires.

Feast bundles are a part of the sacred bundles. Please bring feast bundles, and save on waste. We ask you bring garbage bags or use nearby bins and keep the Lodge and area clean. Nothing including ashes is to be left behind.

Communication by the Fire Keeper with helpers, elders, ceremonial conductors, staff volunteers and guests is essential at all times to ensure the safety of the fire, the protection of the University of Toronto and natural space, and the health and well-being of all U of T community members.

No drugs, No alcohol, No Violence.

COVID-19 Protocol (if required by U of T)

U of T community members who come onto campuses or premises must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and are required to upload proof of vaccination via UCheck found at Community members (a student, post-graduate or staff, faculty or librarian with a UTORID) must use UCheck online to provide proof of vaccination and for health screening. All other visitors, including alumni and contractors, must complete the UCheck paper-based form found at: Please keep the paper-based form with you while you are on campus. User will ensure this information will be communicated to all guests in the Lodge. User will confirm proof of full vaccination and UCHECK/ID at Point of Entry to the Lodge.

Users must be aware and follow all current health and safety protocols for COVID-19 as addressed by UofT’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office found at including, but not limited to, filling out COVID-19 Assessment Forms for Events (EAT), adhering to recommended capacity limits, COVID-19 Procedures in case of confirmed or suspected case, UofT guideline on face masks, etc.  User will ensure this information will be communicated to all guests in the Lodge.

Protocols And Safety Measures

No Sacred/Ceremonial Fires will be permitted without the proper authorization and approval by the University. All unauthorized fires that result in arrival by the Toronto Fire Department will be required to pay the $1500 fine.

There is no smoking or vaping allowed on U of T property which includes the area in and around the Lodge

The Fire Keeper will ensure respect for all Community Fires and Ceremonial Fires by keeping it clean

The Fire Keeper is responsible for the sacred fire space, medicines, tools associated with the fire, offerings, safety and other elements of ceremony.

The Fire Keeper must always remain with the fire. If at any point a Fire Keeper must leave the fire area, s/he must make arrangements with another trained Fire Keeper to watch and care for the fire in their absence.

Fire Keeper will ensure that they and attendees maintain a safe distance to fire.

Allowable Burn Items: Due to health and safety concerns, please adhere to only allowing to burn to following items:

  • Loose organic offerings (medicines):
  • Must be smaller than one closed handful
  • Must be places into the fire one at a time
  • Must be completely burned before next offering
  • Smudge ashes
  • Tobacco ties/offerings – To be burned one at a time – Must be cotton wrapped/non-synthetic
  • Spirit plate food – No meat on the bone – Only burn the plate if it is paper – No plastic

Non-Allowable Burn Items:

  • Items larger than one closed handful
  • Any ceremonial or painted items
  • Any synthetic items
  • Books/magazines/clothing
  • Clippings/stems from medicines

The Fire Keeper will refer to guidelines for starting and maintain fires including preparation, fire wood placement, lighting the fire, clean up and emergency phone contact numbers located at:

The Fire Keeper must call the following contacts before lighting the fire and after extinguishing the fire:

  • Toronto Fire Service Dispatch: 416-338-9000
  • Campus Police: 416-978-2323
  • Dr. Hopi Martin: 437-224-2061

The Fire Keeper will secure Lodge Bundle materials prior to start of fire and refer to Fire Keeper Equipment Checklist

The Fire Keeper will ensure the fire extinguisher is present at the Lodge.

The Fire Keeper must be familiar with University of Toronto Fire Prevention Resources:

Fire safety: Scrape away any grass and needles within a foot of the firepit. Have water nearby before building your fire. Take all necessary steps to tend, control and extinguish the fire.

Alcohol and Drug Use Thinking and Safety: Acknowledgement that people who are on mind-changers might not be thinking clearly so the Fire keeper has that responsibility to keep the fire, and people safe.  And also the right to ask the person to leave (that might even be calling Campus Security).

If in the event of severe weather, access to the Lodge will not be allowed.

In the event that the City of Toronto, individuals outside of your group or an emergency happens while in the lodge, the following people will be contacted: (in the event that they must step in for safety reasons or violation of guidelines, please respect their decisions during your time in the lodge and disrespect or disregard for the issues addressed will not be tolerated).

  • Campus Police: 416-978-2323
  • Toronto Fire Service Dispatch: 416-338-9000
  • 9-1-1 (if extreme emergency)
  • New College Front Desk: 416-978-8877 (they should ask for Second Tier)
  • Dr. Hopi Martin: 437-224-2061

If these guidelines are not followed during your time at the Lodge, the Lodge will no longer be available to you for future use, or your previous behavior in the Lodge will need to be addressed by the community. Please respect the sacred space.

Cancellation Policy: You are required to give 48 hour’s notice of cancellation if you no longer would like to use the lodge.

Miigwech (Thank you) for filling out the Mother Earth Learning Lodge Booking Request Form and reviewing our Code of Conduct. Please send completed Form to and wait for Dr. Hopi Martin (Lodge Caretaker) to confirm your booking.