The Math Bundle (25w5472)


Edward Doolittle (First Nations University of Canada)

Betty McKenna (First Nations University of Canada)


The Banff International Research Station will host the “The Math Bundle” half workshop in Banff from June 15 - 20, 2025.

The Banff International Research Station has a long history of promoting Indigenous mathematics and Indigenous mathematics education. The latest workshop on Indigenous mathematics at BIRS will be The Math Bundle, in which participants will develop a traditional Indigenous teaching method (the bundle) in the context of mathematics. Indigenous bundles are containers for items which spark a memory and facilitate the telling of a story or a teaching. The Math Bundle contains items which spark stories, teachings, and lessons in Indigenous mathematics. Copies of the bundle will be made and shared in parallel with the sharing of mathematics-related teachings.

The Math Bundle was first developed under the guidance of Elder Betty McKenna at a BIRS workshop in 2013. In the 2023 workshop the Math Bundle will be augmented with new items, and a protocol will be developed for the annual recitation and renewal of the Math Bundle. In addition to the bundle, other forms of Indigenous ceremony will be used to engage participants in a good way, such as a sweat lodge ceremony, pipe ceremonies, a full moon ceremony if the moon is cooperative, and visits to Indigenous communities and sacred sites near Banff. Participants will also engage in storytelling, informal talks, and friendly exchange as a means of building the Indigenous mathematics community in Canada, and a memorial for members of our community who have passed on.

The Banff International Research Station for Mathematical Innovation and Discovery (BIRS) is a collaborative Canada-US-Mexico venture that provides an environment for creative interaction as well as the exchange of ideas, knowledge, and methods within the Mathematical Sciences, with related disciplines and with industry. The research station is located at The Banff Centre in Alberta and is supported by Canada’s Natural Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), and Alberta’s Advanced Education and Technology.