What is Smudging?

So you’re on a campus tour of your college of choosing because you filled out our Travel Rebate form (good luck!) and you’re noticing a sign that reads “This Area Practices Smudging”.  You kind of look around and think to yourself, am I missing something? What is smudging? No need to worry, because a lot of students who attend colleges in Northern Ontario are unaware of what smudging is.

You’ll find a lot of smudging activities around your campus, especially in Northern Ontario because of a large Indigenous population.  Smudging is a ritual that involves burning traditional herbs and medicine to help cleanse the environment and our bodies.  Each herb that is burned in the smudging ritual plays a significant role:

Sage – used for healing purposes

Cedar – removing negative energy

Rose – used for meditation and peace

Lavender – to help with depression or anxiety

Juniper – to uplift you when your mind and body are tired

This ritual is great to help students as they take on stress from school work, anxiety about college, and focusing on having a positive experience.

As we live in a very culturally diverse population, we would encourage you to learn more about smudging. You can find more information about smudging in Colleges here:


You can also head to the student services centre or your college’s Indigenous centre to learn more, and to see if you can participate in the smudging ritual.