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 is a sacred site of immense cultural importance to numerous Native Nations who -- over millennia -- have used the area for their traditional ceremonies and medicine gathering. Despite this overwhelming significance to them, it's under threat from being completely destroyed by mining giant, Rio Tinto.