The Cree (Nehiyaw) worldview is not a polarized view but a holistic view. It is not this or that but this and that. It holds that all life forms are interconnected and that life is sacred. Human beings are not at the top of a ladder but are one part of a sacred circle. Emotional, physical, mental and spiritual realms are not separate but recognized as part of the whole. Traditionally, responsibility within the Negiyaw culture primarily involved contributing to the well-being and success of the group - the family, extended family and community. Leadership was developed through service to the community, and cooperation and helping others were crucial to survival. Traditional Nehiyaw culture revolves around the connection to Mother Earth and the relationship with family and community. The concept of Mother Earth in Nehiyaw worldview not only encompasses the land but also all animals, minerals, rocks, water, plant life and all interconnectedness with humans. Cree people do not use the products and minerals of Mother Earth as commodities but regard them as relatives and treat them with the utmost respect. (Alberta Education Alberta Canada)
Indigenous Support Worker
The Wetaskiwin Regional Public School District has worked diligently on a policy "Administrative Policy 164: Smudging in Schools" and this policy is in effect to support smudging in the schools for the benefit of all students.
Smudging is available every morning. It is used to commence a new day, begin ceremonies, meetings or other gatherings. It is also used throughout the day to students who may require support for difficult times. Smudging is a ceremony of cleansing and purification for the physical and spiritual bodies with the use of sage or sweet grass. When students choose to smudge, they are encouraged to think positive thoughts and encourage themselves to have a good day and also think positive thoughts for their classmates and teachers. Smudging is completely optional and is open to everyone! Parents, guardians, and any other family members are always welcome to smudge with their children. In addition, I would be more than happy to share this process with anyone that is interested in learning about it. If you would like to discuss this further, I welcome your call or visit at the school.
Mrs. Gloria Rogers