Gathering Sage: Knowledge Keeper shares the sacred traditional practice

What does it mean to begin in a good way? A Traditional Knowledge Keeper serves as a helper to the community on picking sage, including why and how to gather it using culturally aligned and reciprocal practices that honor and respect Mother Earth.

Videography by Haley Martin

Smudging is an integral part of Indigenous culture and spirituality and has been used in ceremonies for centuries. It sets the stage to begin in a good way, cleansing a person or place of negative energy and grounding them to connect with their true, authentic selves.

Indigenous people in every territory have their own medicines, which they use in ceremony. In the Treaty 7 Territory, one of these medicines is sage. The process of collecting sage is sacred and based on wisdom that is passed down through generations with cultural teachings that are unique to each family and territory.

Métis/Cree Elder Kerrie Moore, BSW’03,MSW’04, who leads a sage gathering ceremony, learned her teachings from her grandmother, who learned from her grandmother, and so on. The stories, songs, and protocols have been practised through time without change, and are intertwined with the values of feminine energy and motherhood. Learn more about the practice of sage picking and the importance of preserving traditions that connect us to Mother Earth.

Elder Kerrie Moore is the Elder for the Kiipitakyoyis Grandmother’s Lodge (the Indigenous Social Work Circle and Lodge in the Faculty of Social Work) as well as the Wellness Elder for The Faculty of Social Work. The Lodge seeks to create decolonizing spaces that align with the University’s
ii’ taa’poh’to’p principles that honour Indigenous ways of knowing, being, doing and connecting, by providing Elder and counselling supports, learning opportunities, ceremonies and cultural activities to students, staff and faculty.
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