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Smudging Policy

Smudging Policy Information

Date Approved: May 5, 2021
Effective Date: May 5, 2021
Date Reviewed: Winter 2021
Replaces: Traditional Aboriginal Activities on Campus 2013


The purpose of this Smudging Policy (the “Policy”) is to honour and support the Indigenous community in the tradition of Smudging, as hereinafter defined. Cambrian College (the “College”) welcomes, respects and supports the on-campus, Indigenous, cultural and spiritual practices associated with the use of the four Spiritual Sacred Medicines.


College Community: all College employees, students, contractors and general public working on College Real Property.

College Real Property: all land and buildings owned or controlled by the College.

Smudging: an Indigenous practice of burning certain plants such as sweet grass, sage, cedar and/or tobacco, in order to create a cleansing smoke, which is used to purify people, as well as ceremonial and ritual spaces and ceremonial tools and objects.

Spiritual Sacred Medicines: sage, sweetgrass, cedar and tobacco.

Application/ Scope

This Policy applies to the College Community on all College Real Property.

Policy Statements

The College honours the tradition of Smudging and supports the practice on College Real Property according to the following principles:

  • The Wabnode Centre for Indigenous Services (Wabnode), inclusive of the Arbour on College Real Property, is designated as the College’s approved area to perform Smudging ceremonies.
  • Smudging in all other areas of the College Real Property will be subject to the Smudging Operating Procedure to determine approval, timing, location, communication and notification to ensure the balance of safety and culture.
  • The Spiritual Sacred Medicines must be obtained by Wabnode to ensure that the plants were harvested in a traditional way.
  • Members of the College Community may use the Spiritual Sacred Medicines to practice a Smudging ceremony; however, it is tradition at the College to only use sage in order to always honour women.
  • Event organizers should be aware of nearby combustible materials and know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher, fire alarm pull station and emergency exists.
    • Material remaining after a Smudging ceremony must be fully extinguished and disposed of safely.
  • Failure to comply with this Policy may result in the activation of the fire alarm system as well as other possible health and safety risks to the College Community.
    • The College reserves the right to pass on to anyone who is in violation of this Policy some or all of the costs arising from that violation. Repeated failure to comply with this Policy may result in corrective action.

Responsibilities and Accountability

Associate Vice President, Human Resources and Student Services is responsible for

  • Ensuring the development, review and availability of this Policy and associated procedures.

Wabnode Centre for Indigenous Services is responsible for

  • Sharing the traditional knowledge and ways of the Indigenous people.
  • Providing appropriate Spiritual Sacred Medicines for Smudging ceremonies
  • Providing a spiritually safe area for the College Community

Director Facilities is responsible for

  • Providing signage as appropriate.
  • Providing enforcement in support of this policy.

College Community is responsible for

  • Being familiar with and adhering to this Policy and applicable procedures.

Administrators are responsible for

  • Ensuring that their staff adhere to this Policy and applicable procedures.