Indigenous Liaison

Smudging

Smudging is available from 8:35-9:00 am and throughout the day whenever anyone needs it to help them through any difficulties they may be having. The burning of various medicine plants to make a smudge or cleansing smoke is used by many North American Indigenous peoples and is open to all those who want to learn. It is a ritual cleansing. As the smoke rises, our prayers rise to the Spirit World where the Grandfathers, Grandmothers and our Creator reside. Negative energy, feelings, and emotions are lifted away. It is also used for healing of mind, body and spirit, as well as balancing energies. Our Elders teach us that all ceremonies must be entered into or begun with good intent. So many of us use the smudge as a symbolic or ritual cleansing of mind, body, spirit and emotion. The smell of the burning medicines stimulates our brains to produce beta-endorphins, which are part of the normal healing process of our bodies. 

Cree (Nehiyaw) Language & Culture

Aboriginal culture and languages are closely connected and sometimes viewed as inseparable. Each language reflects the unique way Aboriginal peoples view and relate to the world. Each carries with it an unspoken network of cultural values which are a major force in the shaping of each persons self-awareness and identity. Words in a language, the ideas, and feelings they represent, and the way they are spoken allow people to fully express their traditional beliefs and ways of interacting with each other. These values help generate and maintain an individuals level of comfort and self- assurance, and consequently success in life. In the normal course of event these values are absorbed along with ones mother tongue in the early stages of life. For most young Aboriginals today, culture and language have in fact been separated. As a result most of these young people are trying to walk in two worlds with only one language. (Henze & Vanett, 1993)

Ka-ki-kiskêyihtêtan ôma, namoya kinwês maka aciyowês pohko ôma ôta ka-hayayak wasêtam askihk, êkwa ka-kakwêy miskêtan kiskêyihtamowin, iyinîsiwin, kistêyitowin, mina nânisitotatowin kakiya ayisiniwak, êkosi ôma kakiya ka-wahkotowak.

Realize that we, as human beings, have been put on this earth for only a short time and that we must use this time to gain wisdom, knowledge, respect and understanding for all human beings, since we are all relatives. – Cree proverb