MUN set to be the first university to allow kullik-burning on campus

St. John’s (CUP) – Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) is currently in the process of approving a policy to allow the practices of kullik-burning and smudging on campus.

Kullik-burning is an Inuit tradition that involves the burning of oil in a soapstone lamp. While the practice was historically used for activities such as cooking or drying clothes, today it is largely ceremonial. Smudging is a First Nations purification process involving the burning of sacred plants such as juniper, sage or sweet grass.

The smoke associated with either practice is minimal.

The proposed policy will allow kullik-burning and smudging at permanent, designated sites on campus, as well as at other sites, providing they have been properly reviewed.

While smudging policies have been adopted at other universities across Canada, upon approval, MUN will be the first university in Canada to have a kullik-burning policy.

Thomas Dymond, aboriginal representative for the MUN Students’ Union, has been active in the creation of this policy, and has spoken with many aboriginal students during the process.

He said the policy will help with the “grey area” many aboriginal students currently face with respect to what they are and are not allowed to do. He also believes the policy will be instrumental in fostering acceptance and education of aboriginal cul ...

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