AP 268: Indigenous Ceremonial Activities

Instruction & Assessment


The Superintendent recognizes the importance of demonstrating respect and understanding for the heritage, culture and traditions of the Indigenous community. The Division recognizes that smudging and the use of herbs and tobacco are a part of the Indigenous traditional way of life and are, therefore, permitted in Parkland Schools (subject to proper safety measures).

Smudging is an Indigenous tradition which involves the burning of sage, sweet-grass and/or cedar. Smudge produces a distinct odour, but the smoke associated with it is minimal and lasts a very short time.

A Smudge is ceremonially burned to represent cleansing the body, mind, and spirit.


1. Indigenous ceremonial activities involving the use of a Smudge shall be approved by the Principal or area site administrator.

2. The Principal, Site Supervisor or designate shall ensure that the staff members involved understand the associated protocols and importance of smudging and pipe ceremonies as part of the Indigenous traditional way of life.

3. Where possible and prudent to do so, a Smudge shall occur outdoors.

4. An indoor Smudge may be provided in a designated area building that:

4.1.  Is well-ventilated and approved by the Facilities Department; and

4.2.  Is equipped with a fully charged fire extinguisher.

5. When smudging ceremonies are completed, the materials shall be fully extinguished and disposed of in an appropriate manner:

5.1.  Smoking or warm smudging materials need to burn out on their own;

5.2.  Smudge remnants and matches may be placed in a tin can and saved; and

5.3.  Smudge remnants shall not be placed in trash receptacle.

6. Tobacco may be used in pipe ceremonies and only by a pipe carrier.


Date Approved: August 31, 2020

Reference: Education Act: Preamble, 63
National Indigenous Peoples Day

Reviewed or Revised:
Executive: September, 2019

References shall be updated as required and do not require additional approval.