This is a guideline on how to make a tobacco tie when making a request to a knowledge keeper, an Elder or Indigenous person.

  1. Acquire Tobacco: Finding traditional ceremonial tobacco is the best option, however it is okay to offer no additive loose tobacco. You can purchase traditional ceremonial tobacco online from Mother Earth Tobacco, or loose tobacco from a tobacco store.
  2. Obtain Cloth: Buy fabric to make your tobacco tie, preferably in colours such as red, yellow, white, green, purple or blue. You can purchase broad cloth from a fabric store.
  3. Preparing the Tobacco Offering: The person making the request should prepare the tobacco tie or pouch. As you prepare the offering, it is important to think about what you are requesting, and to have good thoughts while you prepare the tobacco tie. Here are step-by-step instructions on how to assemble your tobacco tie:
    • Cut your fabric in a square (4 inches by 4 inches)
    • Put a small amount of tobacco in the centre of the cloth
    • Fold all the ends of the cloth together
    • Tie the tobacco with a piece of yarn or twine; you can also cut a strip of the fabric to make a tie

  1. Making a Request: Offer the tobacco tie or pouch when you make your initial request. To make a request, offer the tobacco tie or pouch by holding it in your left hand in front of you, state your request (be specific), and if the person accepts your request, place the tobacco in their hand. An example of what to say when making your request and offering tobacco:

I am offering you this tobacco for…

…the opening and closing remarks at [name of event].

…the smudging ceremony.

…your guidance with __________.