Ka Ni Kanichihk’s programming is rooted in cultural ways of being and this includes smudging at program activities and times of ceremony. Each year, program leaders take community members out on the land to pick medicines for learning and ceremony.
Earlier this month, the community came together to pick sage at Birds Hill Park in preparation for winter. What a welcome, safe, land-based group cultural activity it was, especially after the long period of not being able to gather.
This year’s sage picking started by receiving a teaching, followed by going out in small groups and families to harvest.
White sage is burned for meditation, smudging and cleansing of spirit and dwelling. Its smoke is used to purify mind, body, spirit and sacred articles in advance of prayers and ceremonies. In some beliefs, white sage smoke is believed to provide a barrier that prevents negative spirits from entering the room in which the ceremony is being held.
Sharing the meaning behind sage and having everyone participate in the harvest is important for healing and to pass on our cultural traditions to our younger generations.