In First Nations, Métis, and Inuit cultures, Elders and traditional teachers play a prominent, vital, and respected role. They are held in high regard as they are the knowledge keepers, carrying traditional teachings and information passed down through oral history, customs and traditions which encompass beliefs, values, worldviews, language, and spiritual ways of life.

Indigenous elders are leaders, teachers, role models, mentors, and healers who within their communities often provide the same functions as advisors, professors, and doctors.