Indigenous Sweat Lodge and Healing Garden Opening in Mississauga
If you've never experienced an indigenous sweat lodge before, it might please you to know that one is about to open in Mississauga.
The city of Mississauga and the Peel Aboriginal Network (PAN) have partnered to build and program a traditional sweat lodge and healing garden at the Bradley Museum (pictured above).
The sweat lodge and healing garden—the first in the city in over a century—will officially open at the museum on Saturday, Nov. 5.
"There is no question that our Indigenous roots play a significant role in telling the unique story of our young city," said Stuart Keeler, manager and chief curator, culture division, city of Mississauga. "We're very excited to share this important part of the city's history and culture with the people of Mississauga."
For those who are unaware, a sweat lodge is comparable to a sauna. Basically, people gather in an enclosure heated by steaming rocks and sweat profusely as part of a spritual ceremony.
Keeler says the sweat lodge and healing garden are part of a two-year pilot project with PAN.
While sweat lodges can be spiritually and emotionally fulfilling for anyone of any culture, their inclusion in Mississauga symbolizes thoughtful and meaningful outreach to the Native community.
"This is the start of a journey in reclaiming space within the City of Mississauga for our traditional teachings and ceremonies," said Kris Noakes, President, PAN. "This is just the beginning for all of us to do great things together."
According to Noakes, the sweat lodge is important because it functions both as a place for the Indigenous community to conduct traditional ceremonies as well as a space for other members of the Mississauga community to "learn about traditional ways of wellness and healing."
A healing garden will also be planted the at the museum.
"The garden brings together the teachings of the Medicine Wheel and our four sacred medicines," said Noakes. "Part of our responsibility is to preserve our knowledge and teachings by providing space in Mississauga to share our traditions and culture."