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First Nations woman says she was denied housing in Prince George because of her cultural practices

smudging.jpg
An image from a smudging ceremony (CBC).


A Prince George woman is speaking out about an unexpected barrier she faced to finding a home for her and her two children - cultural discrimination. Briana Ireland says she was meeting with a potential landlord when she was asked if she was "Indian."

"I explained I was First Nations, and I explained that my children and I, we do hand drumming, we sing, we follow our traditional smudging. From there I was denied the apartment because the property manager said that smudging is problematic, that it's drugs, and she woudn't be allowing that kind of activity in her apartment building."

Smudging is the process of burning sweetgrass and sage as a method of healing or prayer, but that explanation didn't satisfy the landlord.

Reporter Marissa Harvey shares the rest of the story with Betsy Trumpener.

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