Smudging in WRPS Schools - an Update

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Kingston Saddleback & Cash Johnson, Grade 6 Smudging Leaders at Lakedell School

This week, as we publicly commemorate truth and reconciliation across the Division, schools are undertaking impactful learning activities relating to Indigenous foundational knowledge and cultural practices. 

WRPS supports initiatives that actively promote:

  • Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action
  • Competency 5 of Alberta Education’s Teaching Quality Standard, and
  • the spirit of reconciliation between Indigenous Peoples and non-Indigenous Peoples.

As a school division, this includes infusing an Indigenous perspective and teaching Indigenous cultures and practices in schools, such as smudging.

Many WRPS students benefit from smudging. "It helped me focus in class and concentrate on what I'm doing and helped me get through my school day", states Zander Johnson, WCHS 2021 graduate (video).

When he was in grade 6 at Norwood School, Zander was integral in promoting smudging in WRPS schools. In 2015, WRPS developed and implemented AP164 - Smudging in Schools. Shortly after, in 2016, the division opened the first smudging room at Norwood School.

In the years that followed, nine additional WRPS schools opened smudging rooms. These smudging rooms continue to benefit student learning and affirm Indigenous cultural practices.

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