Authors Note: I’m not an Elder or Medicine Person, so I’m aware I have no authority to say who’s allowed to use our medicines and in what way. I simply want to explain how I feel and why.
I’ve noticed a lot of well-meaning non-Indigenous people have really taken a liking to our traditional Ceremony. This has me feeling a mixture of a few intense emotions that I’ve needed to unpack for a while.
Specifically, I’ve seen trendy hipster stores selling ‘emergency smudge kits’ with sage and a smudge bowl, maybe a feather, all promoted on Instagram. Or a non-Indigenous yogi selling dream-catchers to wear around your neck like a necklace. Or self-proclaimed spiritual healer who uses sage to smudge her clients and promotes it on Instagram. Or most recently, a non-Indigenous man leading a “medicine picking” excursion teaching others to pick sage.