Protocol

Traditional Protocol for those attending Ceremony at University nuhelot’įne thaiyots’į nistameyimâkanak Blue Quills (UnBQ)

CLOTHING

We ask women and girls to wear a skirt (or use a wrap) to cover their legs during ceremony.

In a sweat lodge ceremony, women will need a night gown (something warmer than light cotton) that is below knee length.  Men will wear sports shorts.  *Remember you will also need a towel*

HONORING RELATIONAL PROTOCOL

Women do not participate in ceremony when they are in their moon time (monthly cycle).  The teachings remind us that women have great power and they are close to the Creator because they raise life.  The men grow their power as they become oskapios (helpers) and then pipe carriers and ceremonial people.  It is out of respect for the work that they do with the pipes that women do not enter into the ceremonial space and interfere with the power of men during that time.

There may be exceptions to this protocol depending on the ceremonial keeper, women’s ceremonies, other considerations.  A person will always check with the ceremonial keeper if they are unsure but UnBQ advises all to honor this protocol, particularly if they do not have prior experience with ceremonies.

FOOD and FEAST KITS

In a ceremony, you may be participating in a feast of traditional foods (soup, bannock, berry, tea) and contemporary foods that have been prepared or brought by individuals attending the ceremony.  All contributions of food are welcomed, smudged & brought into ceremony for everyone to share. No pork allowed please. Also, as is traditional and expresses a commitment to environmental  concerns, we ask people to bring a FEAST KIT which includes a bowl, plate, cup, utensils, small freezer bags or storage containers to take home anything you do not eat.  At the feast, you are offered the opportunity to return any ceremonial food you will not take home into a large container which the helpers then offer to the spiritual fire.

You do not need your feast kit for a Sweat Lodge ceremony.

GIVE AWAY CEREMONY

Give-Away is an honouring of visitors and we will have a number of items to distribute to visitors or ceremonial participants.  This will occur on May 1st of the evening ceremony and again at the closing of the conference on May 3rd.  If you have something (new or used) that you want to contribute to the Give-Away, please bring it with you and give to folks at the registration table.

QUESTIONS?  Call Blue Quills if you have additional questions, 780-645-4455, ext 127 for Nicole.

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