Words by @saramaimai . Settlers please consider this when your buying “ sacred smudge bundles” or smudge kits: . “This has been brewing in me for the past couple weeks, but it's a topic that comes up every once in awhile and I've spoken on many times:
There's just no good way to go about discussing cultural appropriation. People always get awkward and uncomfortable, and up in arms. .
They don't know why, if our medicines are so helpful and good, why we don't want to share.
We do want to share.
On our terms.
It was illegal until the 60s for Indigenous people to smudge in Canada, and hold ceremony.
It was illegal for us to harvest these medicines and use them, the way we have always done. .
So yes, when you're selling "sacred smudge bundles" and an Indigenous person asks you what makes it sacred, you should maybe think about how that person's family, just like many of our people, has been through hell and back to hold on to those medicines and teachings despite very concerted efforts by the church and government and Canadian society, to demonize our ways of knowing and being, and assimilate us. And we held on to those teachings and medicines so damn tight, because they are sacred. .
People died and experienced abuse to be able to see our people and youth still use use sage and sweetgrass as smudge, and have ceremony. Sacred medicines - yes, according to us.
People died because they had the knowledge you're selling and passing off like it's yours, on your market table. .
If you get your medicines from Indigenous people, you should be raising hell about the injustices Indigenous people face every damn day. There should be a card attached to every sacred smudge bundle you sell, telling that story - of colonization and appropriation. Or at least have a portion of your sales go to an Indig organization or community.
Honour and acknowledge Indigenous peoples and our ways of knowing and being.
That's why my eye twitches when this topic comes up. That's why it hurts. But it's all about the good vibes, man. .
Your good vibes kill mine, but I'm native and when has anyone ever listened to us?” Please consider giving @saramaimai a follow. 📸:📍UCT Territory