Parks Canada removes fee for sweat lodge ceremony at Manitoba historic site | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Parks Canada removes fee for sweat lodge ceremony at Manitoba historic site

June 01, 2016 - 9:04 PM

SELKIRK, Man. - Parks Canada is removing a fee for a sacred aboriginal ceremony at a historic site north of Winnipeg.

Lower Fort Garry plans to hold three sweat lodges this summer, an ancient ceremony performed by indigenous people in North America.

The sweat lodge is a purification ceremony usually conducted by an elder or someone who has been taught strict spiritual protocols.

Those taking part usually make an offering of tobacco or cloth and it takes place in a covered place that's heated by pouring water over hot stones.

Parks Canada's website said that the ceremony would cost $60 per person.

On Wednesday, the government department said it had re-evaluated and it will now offer the ceremony at no cost.

"The fee was only intended to cover the costs associated with planning and delivering the program," Parks Canada said in a statement.

"However, Parks Canada recognizes that this may have been inappropriate ... In the spirit of reconciliation, Parks Canada will continue to offer this important activity at Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site that provides Canadians with an opportunity to experience and develop a greater understanding of Indigenous cultures and traditions."

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak said there is never a charge for an indigenous ceremony.

"Nobody witnessing that should ever think that accessing ceremonies comes with a fee. There's no such thing as a fee associated to ceremonies."

(CTV Winnipeg)

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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