An Introduction to Smudging


At Fort McMurray Métis Trading Post traditional ceremonies and practices are central to their mission of sharing cultural experiences and healing. One example of the traditional ceremonies offered at the Trading Post is the scared smudging. Smudging is a traditional act of purifying or healing one’s body and soul. 

Locally harvested traditional plants such as sage, sweetgrass, cedar, diamond willow, tobacco and red willow are commonly used in this ceremony. As living relatives, the plants are gathered from nature, taking only what is needed, and thanking the natural world for the blessing. When the plants are burned, the smoke washes over the individual’s body, providing a cleansing of the body, spirit, and the space.

Smudging is for many a daily ritual – a way of welcoming a new day and cleansing themselves of the negativity of the past. While everyone performs the ceremony differently, typically the burning of locally harvested traditional plants is accompanied with prayer. There are infinite variations of the smudging prayer, but most often this prayer will recognize the cleansing of the hands, mind, mouth, legs, and back. As the smoke of the smudge washes over each element of the human body, it cleanses and heals the body allowing it to work, think, listen, and speak. 

For Lisa, the owner of the Trading Post, smudging is about showing respect and healing. Lisa welcomes everyone who is open to the experience to join her for a traditional smudging ceremony. The traditional smudging ceremony is an opportunity to heal and cleans one’s body and spirit, but also to share a cultural experience. 

Lisa is committed to sharing the traditional practices of her ancestors and believes that all who are open to the experience should be welcomed to experience it. The Trading Post was created through Lisa’s passion and mission for supporting artisans of all walks in life. She firmly believes that having an open-door policy is a tool for truth and reconciliation in Canada. Through sharing of traditions and cultures, Lisa believes we can better understand one another as a human race. 

To learn more about smudging or to book an appointment at the Trading Post, please call Lisa at 780.788.0441.