Confederation College opens new smudging room on Thunder Bay campus
Thunder Bay's Confederation College has opened a new on-campus smudging room, which the school says will be used for traditional ceremonies and give students a quiet place to meet with Elders.
"It's a beautiful space in the corner of the second floor of the Shuniah Building on the Thunder Bay campus," college president Kathleen Lynch told CBC News after Tuesday's opening. "Fundamental to the acknowledging of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's recommendation is how we can act in a tangible way to support Indigenous people and show that we're committed to changing our history."
"Our students come from all over the Northwest," she said. "We want to make sure that we acknowledge the history of what's happened with Indigenous people, and also, though, offer support and acknowledgement that we want to be partners with them on the journey forward."
The room is being managed by the college's Centre for Policy and Research in Indigenous Learning, and the college said it's been designed to contain smoke from smudging ceremonies.
"Smudging is a very personal and significant ceremony for Indigenous peoples," S. Brenda Small, vice-president of the college's Centre for Policy and Research in Indigenous Learning, said in a statement. "This new space is a promise from Confederation College to recognize and respect Indigenous students, employees, elders and partners in practicing this custom."