Inaugural HH meeting starts with traditional smudge ceremony

Christine Hudder


MAYNOOTH – Two Algonquin women attended the inaugural Hastings Highlands council meeting on December 5 to lead a traditional smudging ceremony.

“It’s absolutely mind blowing to me that this is actually happening in my lifetime,” Algonquin Elder Ada Tinney said. “I didn’t expect that I would see this happening.”

She was there with Christine Luckasavitch, program coordinator and Indigenous pedagogical leader with North Hastings Children’s Services.

The women were invited by new Mayor Vic Bodnar, who led his first council meeting that day. Before he called the meeting to order, he asked that the women offer a smudging ceremony.

“A smudge is used to cleanse,” Luckasavitch said. “Anything bad that you might have been feeling or carrying, it is a way to essentially lift that off your shoulders. Especially when you are starting with this new term and the new work you are going to be doing. Essentially it’s starting out with a clean and fresh start.”

The women used white buffalo sage and an eagle feather for the ceremony.

“There are medicinal properties that go beyond the actual spiritual cleansing of using sage,” Luckasavitch said. “So we are using white buffalo sage for this smudge. Science even says it’s very cleansing for any room that you are in.”

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