If you’re learning about Indian Residential Schools in the U.S. and Canada for the first time; it’s critical you're cognizant of the fact that these systems of colonial violence deliberately inflicted intergenerational trauma on Indigenous communities. Navigating our own lack of knowledge about this type of government-backed, church-led atrocity should not be placed on the shoulders of those who bear its scars.
With the beginning of a new year, many people look to improve their health, wellbeing and spirituality in the hopes of finding healing, growth and purpose -- and it's natural to look for something to use or try out that may help things along. For some, deciding to smudge (the cleansing of a person or space by burning plant material such as sage, palo santo, cedar, sweetgrass, etc) can seem like a positive step -- but there are some things you should be mindful of before you start.
The Chí’chil Biłdagoteel Historic District, also known as Oak Flat in Arizona, USA remains a sacred site of immense cultural importance to numerous Native Nations; who have used the area for their traditional ceremonies and medicine gathering for millennia. Despite this overwhelming significance to them, it's under threat from being completely destroyed by mining giant, Rio Tinto.