Smudging

The University of Wisconsin-Superior respectfully acknowledges we are located on Ojibwe land, whose history, language, and culture continues to influence our vibrant community.   

The University of Wisconsin-Superior supports and acknowledges Indigenous heritage and history, especially the Anishinaabe People of the Lake Superior region, and is currently working toward indigenizing many of its practices. UWS recognizes and appreciates that Indigenous students, staff, faculty, and community engage in a variety of traditional ceremonies and practices such as smudging. These practices are time-honored Indigenous traditions, passed on from generation to generation. UWS recognizes and welcomes these practices on our campus.  

Smudging is a purification ceremony where any one or a combination of sacred medicines (some of which are listed below) are lit with a match or lighter. When lit, the burning medicines will produce smoke and a distinct scent is given off. The smoke is drawn over the individual(s) or area to release negative energy, create a positive mindset, and to ground or connect the individual to their teachings and culture. Smudging is always performed voluntarily and may be done in the context of ceremony or for teaching purposes. The smoke and scent produced during a smudge is minimal and often dissipates quickly.   

Policy 

Policy Statement: The University of Wisconsin-Superior recognizes the American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978, and thus acknowledges that smudging, and the non-smoking use of ceremonial tobacco and other medicines are a necessary part of the traditional way of life, well-being, and spiritual practice for many Indigenous people. The medicines described here are permitted on campus when following the procedure outlined below.  In this policy the target group, Indigenous People, includes but is not limited to registered and non-registered U.S tribal communities, First Nations peoples, Alaskan Natives, Native Hawaiians/ Pacific Islander, and members of underrepresented Indigenous populations.  

Campus Safety or immediate supervisor will inform others as needed, emphasizing the cultural significance and ceremonial use of traditional medicines. Should issues or concerns arise, the First Nations Center will provide appropriate education and training pertaining to smudging practices, policies, and respectful ceremonial considerations.  

Full Smudging Policy and Procedures

Forms