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Smudging/Pipe Ceremonies

Category: Governance
Number: GOV-040-020
Audience: All University employees and external groups
Issued: September 14, 2007
Revised: July 31, 2019
Owner(s): AVP (Facilities Management)
Approved by: VP (Administration)
Contact: Executive Lead, Indigenization - 306-337-2945; Manager, Aboriginal Student Centre - 306-337-3106; Director of Maintenance and Utilities, Facilities Management - 306-585-4419

Introduction

The University of Regina is committed to the recognition and support of diversity and, consequently, its celebration. The University is actively working towards indigenizing its practices. The University recognizes that Indigenous students, faculty, staff and community engage in a variety of traditional ceremonies, including and not limited to smudging, and pipe ceremonies. This policy is meant to provide guidance to the University community in engaging in these traditions while respecting everyone on campus.

Some of the plants used in smudging and ceremony include sage, sweetgrass, cedar; and tobacco.

Policy

The University of Regina recognizes that smudging, the use of tobacco and other medicines are a part of the Indigenous traditional way of life and are, therefore, permitted on campus in appropriate spaces.

The support of diversity is a shared responsibility at all levels of the University.

Roles and Responsibilities

There are many types or forms of ceremony: individual; as part of engagement with Indigenous pedagogies in a classroom; and for community engagement.

The Individual will:

The individual instructor/employee facilitating learning reflective of Indigenous pedagogies will:

Event Organizers will:

The Director of Maintenance and Utilities & Facilities Management will:

  • After receiving a Request for Utility or Building System Shutdown form Facilities Management will evaluate the fire and ventilation systems in the requested space
  • Support ceremonies which celebrate and encourage diversity among the University community
  • Note when and where ceremonies are scheduled; inform Campus Security
  • Ensure that staff understands the importance of these ceremonies

Associate Vice-Presidents, Deans, Directors, and Department Heads will:

  • Ensure their staff understands the importance of smudging and pipe ceremonies as part of the Indigenous traditional way of life

The University Executive is:

  • Responsible for supporting legitimate ceremonies which celebrate and encourage diversity among the University community

Consequences for Noncompliance

Failure to comply with this policy may result in activation of the fire alarm system with subsequent evacuation of building and/or occupational health and safety risks to the University community.

Processes

  1. Location
    Smudging/pipe ceremonies will usually take place in spaces designed or pre-approved for that purpose (CW 118, CW 451, ED 220, CB 132, CB 136, KI 1434, RI 118). Other campus spaces must be evaluated well in advance of the event by Facilities Management. Requests must be made by filling out and submitting a Request for Utility or Building System Shutdown form found on the Facilities Management web page (48 Hour notice is required). Facilities Management will work with the organizers to ensure fire alarm and ventilation issues will not disrupt the smudging participants or building occupants. Technical support for smudging ceremonies is a core Facilities Management service; no financial charges will apply. Note: some ventilation/fire systems cannot accommodate smudging; Facilities Management will work with organizers to find suitable spaces.
  2. Notification
    • For ceremonies in designed or pre-approved spaces, a sign will be posted on the door when a ceremony is going to be held. The sign will be removed when the aroma has dissipated.
    • For ceremonies taking place in other campus spaces, the organizers will post a similar sign and notify neighbouring offices in advance.
    • For smudging of a personal nature, notification to neighbours is required.
    • For smudging and/or pipe ceremony in classes or as a part of other academic experiences, notification should be given to participants; the appropriate Dean, and neighbouring units; and requests must be made by filling out and submitting a Request for Utility or Building System Shutdown form found on the Facilities Management web page (48 Hour notice is required). A sign will be posted on the door; and the door will remain closed.
  3. Air quality
    Event organizers will ensure doors remain closed until the aroma has dissipated. Concerns with air quality should be directed to Facilities Management Work Control at 306-585-4039 or work.control@uregina.ca.
  4. Fire Safety
    Event organizers should know the location of the nearest fire extinguisher, be aware of nearby combustible materials and keep embers in a heat proof container until cold to the touch before discarding.

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