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A person smudging: An abalone shell with sage leaves inside of it; smoke wafting above it

Learn more about the Indigenous practice of smudging and why it is performed.

What is smudging?

Smudging is an Indigenous practice which involves the burning of sweetgrass, sage and/or cedar.  

Why do we smudge?

The act of smudging cleanses the physical and energetic space, bodies and items deemed sacred to the person(s) doing the smudging.

Smudge Prayer (Pass the Feather)

  • Courage - I wash my hands in the sweet smoke so that they may be constructive and reach out to others in a good way.
  • Honesty - I bring the smoke over my head and down my back to lighten my troubles and bring clarity of purpose. 
  • Respect - I smudge my eyes so that I will see good things in people and learn from them.
  • Truth - I smudge my mouth so that I will speak good things to people and learn to choose my words carefully.
  • Wisdom - I smudge my ears so that I will listen carefully to others, learn from what they say and become someone they want to talk to.
  • Love - I bring the smoke towards me to surround my heart so that what has been damaged can heal and what pain is to come will help me to be strong and grow in a good way.
  • Humility - I wash my feet in the smoke so that I may walk a path full of purpose, compassion, balance and kindness.

May the smoke wash over me, collect my messages of gratitude and gather my worries. Let them rise up to the Sky World. May my ancestors see that I live with good intentions.

Smudging on campus is welcome and supported 

Smudging may take place at Indigenous events or in classrooms and offices. It can produce a strong aroma, but its smoke is minimal and lasts a short time.

Under Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act, accommodations are made for the burning of tobacco and other substances for ceremonial purposes in traditional Indigenous cultural activities. Toronto Metropolitan University recognizes that smudging and pipe ceremonies are a part of the Indigenous traditional way of life and are therefore permitted on campus.

If you have any questions, contact the Facilities Help Desk at and 416-979-5091.


If you have questions about smudging, please contact Amy Desjarlais, lead facilitator, Rebirthed Teachings, Indigenous Initiatives, Office of the Vice-President, Equity and Community Inclusion at