Nova Scotia·AKNUTE'N

The power and purpose of the smudging ceremony

Mi'kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass brought sage to the CBC News studio recently to perform a smudging ceremony, a purification process that gets rid of negativity.

Trevor Sanipass explains how a smudging ceremony is carried out and what it accomplishes

Mi'kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass performs a smudging ceremony in the CBC News studio. (Jerry West/CBC)

Mi'kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass brought sage to the CBC News studio recently to perform a smudging ceremony, a purification process that gets rid of negativity.

As Halifax prepares to host the North American Indigenous Games in July, Sanipass, who's from Eskasoni in Unama'ki, is acting as the guide to Mi'kmaw language and culture for CBC's Information Morning.

"You can smudge when you're having a bad day or you can smudge when you're having a good day," he said. "I try to smudge more so when I'm having an excellent day."

The ceremony can be performed as often as you want, said Sanipass, adding he believes it's OK for non-Indigenous people to perform a smudge on their own, as long as it's done respectfully and with the right intentions.

Trevor Sanipass shares the meaning behind the words kesik and tekipuk in the second installment of his column with CBC's Information Morning. 0:51

Sanipass lit a small bundle of sage on fire inside a shell, and using a feather, gently brushed the smoke over his eyes, ears, mouth and heart.

"You swipe the smoke in your eyes so you would see good in others," Sanipass said.

"You swipe the smoke in your ears so you would hear good things from others and you swipe the smoke in your mouth so you would not speak ill of others and you swipe the smoke in your heart so you can move on with your day with good intentions."

Listen to Sanipass's full interview with Information Morning below.

As Halifax gets ready to host the North American Indigenous Games in July, Information Morning is making some time to get to know the First Nation to inhabit this land. Trevor Sanipass will be our guide over the coming months. 7:47

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With files from CBC's Information Morning

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