Honorariums and Travel Costs

Before exploring the appropriate remuneration / honorarium for the Elder you would like to engage, you must ensure that all cultural protocols have been followed.

New protocols regarding honorariums have been established in order to protect Elders under the terms of Canada Revenue Agency regulations. Determine which category applies to your situation in order to follow the appropriate steps to provide an honorarium to the Elder you are working with:


If an Elder engages with the University and an honorarium is provided, the Elder's Social Insurance Number and address are required. This information only needs to be acquired once. To determine if the Elder you are working with is already listed with the University of Manitoba, please contact Christine Cyr, Director of the Indigenous Student Centre: christine.cyr@umanitoba.ca or 204-474-6825.

If the total provision of honorariums by the University of Manitoba to an Elder is more than $500 in a fiscal year, a T4A will be issued to the Elder. The person who is engaging with the Elder must inform him/her about these stipulations up front. If the amount of honorariums provided is less than $500 in a fiscal year, the Elder will not receive a T4A.

All payments/honorariums issued will be in the form of a cheque. If the process for requesting the cheque is initiated in a timely manner, the cheque may be ready to hand to the Elder at the time of the event/ceremony, etc.

Non-Employment Payment to Elders Under $5,000 (PDF)

Notes about the form:

  • The "Payment to Elders" form says: "An invoice, or written/electronic documentation, must be submitted with this form that outlines the mutually agreed upon arrangement." As this may not be available, other documentation may be accepted such as a copy of a meeting agenda that includes the Elders name as a guest.
  • In the upper right hand corner of the payment form, an NP number is requested. An automated system is being created that will generate consecutive NP numbers, but in the interim, use a numeric sequence that can be identifiable to your unit/department.


Other individuals may be brought in to do cultural work (cultural teachers, performers, etc). When engaging cultural teachers and performers, the same procedures indicated in Section I: Working With Elders should be followed. Again, all payments will be issued in the form of a cheque.

Non-Employment Payment to Canadian Individual Under $5,000 (PDF)

III. PROCESS FOR WORKING WITH ELDERS - more than $5,000 per year

If an individual engages with the University in an on-going relationship where compensation exceeds $5,000 per tax year, this relationship becomes an employment relationship. The best examples of this are our Elders-in-Residence programs in the Indigenous Student Centre and Centre for Aboriginal Health Education. An agreement would be made between the individual and the University, a SIN would be provided along with other relevant personal information in order to issue payment, and a T4A would be issued at the appropriate time.


These guidelines deal with the financial compensation for Elders. Please note that anyone seeking to engage an Elder must also follow cultural protocols that include approaching the Elder in the appropriate manner, being clear and specific in the request, and presenting tobacco appropriately.

These amounts are guidelines. There may be flexibility in these amounts if the nature of the work differs from regular events/ceremonies.

  • Half day (up to 3 hours): $200
  • Full day (up to 7 hours): $400
  • Special event/ceremony (that might not be longer than 3 hours of their time at the event, but would require them to do pre-event preparation or post-event debrief): $400


All travel and per diem costs for an Elder's visit should be provided in addition to the honorarium. These costs can be processed as a cash advance (prior to the visit) or as a regular travel claim (after the visit) through the Concur Travel and Expense Tool.



The coordination and communication of working with Elders is important. If you have any questions about the protocols and processes, please contact:

Christine Cyr
Director, Indigenous Student Centre