User Guildelines

Wampum Learning Lodge:
Access and Terms of Use Guidelines

(Version: February 27, 2023) 

The Lodge was developed in consultation with Indigenous staff, students, faculty, and community with the explicit intention of being a designated home for Indigenous teaching and learning at Western, where Indigenous people may explore and express their ways of knowing and being; and where allied community members may access opportunities to learn, unlearn, and build relationships through the work of Indigenous-led reconciliation. 

The role of the Lodge is to serve as: 

  • a dedicated safe space designed to prioritize and advance the work of reconciliation, through focusing on “Truth”, reclamation, and the revitalization of Indigenous cultures and languages. The Lodge is not a drop-in centre but instead provides scheduled and intentional programming to best meet the needs of the Western community. 
  • a touchstone for Indigenous Peoples and communities to engage with Western through ongoing community consultation and knowledge-mobilization; 
  • a homeplace for Indigenous students and Indigenous programming on campus to prioritize initiatives that give expression to Indigenous community members (both at Western and in the surrounding region);  
  • a place of connectivity among members of the Western community who share a common interest in advancing Indigenization, decolonization, and reconciliation; and 
  • a venue that supports and advances Indigenous ways of knowing and Indigenous pedagogies across disciplines through formal and informal learning at Western.  

Who is the WLL for?

  • Everyone is welcome at the Lodge to help advance the work of Truth and Reconciliation, with priority access provided to Indigenous people at Western and local Indigenous community members and organizations.  
  • Allies are individuals who uses their influence to advocate for a marginalized group. They are essential to help further the work of Reconciliation as led  by Indigenous peoples. The axiom of “nothing about us, without us” will inform all engagement.

WLL as a culturally significant and protected Indigenous space

  • Within Indigenous societies, a lodge is a space reserved for cultural, educational, social, and healing purposes where both open and closed cultural, spiritual, and governance practices occur.
  • People invited to attend the Lodge are required to observe prescribed protocols indicated for the occasion. These protocols are rooted in cultural and Treaty frameworks and support Indigenous self-determination in education. Observing them constitutes a form of learning and respect for Indigenous cultural expression that was at times prohibited in Canada.

Registration and Access

To ensure the space remains culturally relevant and safe for Indigenous Peoples, the Provost supports an Indigenous-led registration requirement for all users:

  • Indigenous access: The establishment and growth of a strong Indigenous core presence within the Lodge is essential to advance the work of Truth and Reconciliation at Western and beyond. Hence, the first phase of access to the Lodge will prioritize Indigenous engagement through the provision of culturally-specific programming designed help Indigenous users experience safety within a dedicated space. This step is necessary to support the establishment of a larger trust-based relationship with Western. 
  • Registration: Indigenous students, staff and faculty will have swipe-card access to the Lodge upon registration and completion of the WLL User Agreement, which is the same process used to gain access to the Indigenous Student Centre. 
  • Allied access: Regularly scheduled programming for all members of Western’s allied community will be provided and communicated through the WLL Program and Events calendar, here.  
  • Registration: Western’s allies (i.e., staff, faculty, and students) are invited to register and access the lodge as per the provision of regular and scheduled programs and events.  


Registration Process

Upon entry, all individuals seeking access to the Lodge will be requested to:

  1. provide their name, position, and Western ID;
  2. complete a virtual orientation of the building that will provide details of acceptable terms of usage of all areas in the space.
  3. complete a multi-media cultural awareness course entitled Four Seasons of Reconciliation” ; and 
  4. review and sign a WLL User agreement that outlines a set of respectful engagement principles to inform the work of decolonization and Indigenization towards and Reconciliation. 

Booking space in the Lodge

All events and activities to occur within the Lodge must align with: 


All events and activities that occur in the Lodge must give full expression to Indigenous histories, cultures, and identities, and must be supportive of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.    

Please visit the website for access to the booking platform, available at  

All applications will be reviewed for content and purpose. Individuals will be contacted if additional information is required to clarify alignment with the vision and mandate of the WLL.  

Protocols for specific areas of the Lodge 

Smudge Area

Smudging is a spiritual and cultural practice observed by many Indigenous Peoples that involves the burning of one or more sacred medicines. These include, but are not limited to, tobacco, sweetgrass, sage and cedar. The smoke is used to ceremonially cleanse a room, space, person, or group. 

While the entire building is a smudge-friendly space, there is a designated ceremony area for smudging in the Lodge. This is a ceremonial space for students, staff, and faculty to engage in holistic wellbeing as per Indigenous custom and protocols. Use of this space is governed by protocols that will be explained during orientation tours.

Wellness Space

Indigenous students, staff and faculty can experience micro-aggressions and violence within the University and in society and require safe spaces to heal and decompress. This space within the Lodge was created in direct response to requests by Indigenous students to support mental health and wellness.

Ceremonial Arbour

The Ceremonial Arbour at the Wampum Learning Lodge is a sacred space for observing Indigenous ways of knowing and being. Please contact the Lodge to use this space, and treat it with honour and respect. All who gather at the Arbour are expected to assemble with good intentions and thoughts. Garbage, petroleum products, and unauthorized fires are not permitted in the firepit