Hundreds of people participated in a smudge walk through the streets of North Central Regina Monday in an effort to counter the community's often negative portrayal in news media.

"We just wanted to bring people together to gather and show support for one another," Ashley Norton, one of the organizers of the event, told CBC News Monday. "Showing that we care about North Central and the people who live here."

A smudge is a traditional First Nations ritual that is most often meant to cleanse negative spirits or negative energy.

North Central Regina has long been associated with negative headlines, especially since early 2007, when the periodical Maclean's published a feature on north-central Regina that described in grim detail how crime, drugs and poverty had blighted the area.

Since then, however, many community projects have been launched to address the needs of residents.

Norton said the smudge walk continues that work.

"To reclaim the streets and let people know North Central is a safe place to be and it is a community and people care about the area," Norton said.

After the walk there was a community barbecue and a round dance at the local school, Scott Collegiate.

With files from CBC's Lauen Golosky