Treaty 6 Day in Leduc

Saturday, August 19, 2023

All in Leduc and the surrounding area are invited to join us for a pipe ceremony and community walk on Aug. 19 in recognition of Treaty 6 Day. The pipe ceremony and community walk will be led by a pipe carrier and drummer. The community walk will be one-kilometre on paved surface in Alexandra Park. The walk is intended to be accessible for all participants. It will also be visible from the flag poles on the west side of the Leduc Civic Centre.

Event details:

  • 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. in Alexandra Park
  • You are encouraged to review details about the pipe ceremony and protocols below before attending. 
  • Please dress for the weather.
About the pipe ceremony 

The pipe is sacred to First Nations People. In the past, it was used to open negotiations between different nations as a way for good conversations to take place. The smoking of the pipe was conducted at the negotiations of Treaty 6 to symbolize that this Treaty would be honoured forever by both the Indigenous peoples and the Crown. 

The pipe ceremony will begin with a prayer and blessing from the pipe carrier. Participants will be sitting in a circle (you may want to bring a blanket or cushion to sit on). In the oral tradition of the Nehiyaw (Cree), the pipe carrier may explain the ceremony to those gathered.  

We ask that you remain silent and refrain from visiting with others around you in conversation while the pipe ceremony is underway. Tobacco and smudge will be burnt during the ceremony. 

The pipe carrier's helper may go around the circle and offer each person an opportunity to smudge. The act of smudging is a way to cleanse one’s energy in preparation for the ceremony. The smoke produced by burning medicines in a vessel is believed to carry words and prayers to the Creator and, when directed towards your body, may purify your mind and body: smudging the ears, eyes and mouth provides for better hearing, visual and language skills, and for a clearer understanding of one’s surroundings and place on this earth. 

The pipe carrier will take the pipe around the circle and offer each person the opportunity to either smoke the pipe or hold it against their heart and receive a blessing. This pipe will travel around the circle in a clockwise fashion. Once the ceremony is over, it is customary to shake hands with other participants before leaving. 

Tobacco and prayer clothes may be given to the pipe carrier by attendees of the pipe ceremony for the blessing of the gathering. 

Pipe ceremony protocols 

Please review and abide by the following protocols, out of respect for the pipe carriers:

  • Everyone smudges a little differently, but if you are uncertain on how to smudge, please review this as a guide: “Wash” your hands in the smoke, then cup and direct the smoke towards your eyes, mouth, ears and heart. A small head nod once you are finished smudging will alert the pipe carrier’s helper that your ritual is complete. 
  • Remove your hat, eyeglasses, and metal jewelry (within reason). 
  • Females are asked to wear a long skirt and/or bring and wrap a blanket around their legs during the pipe ceremony. It is also customary for females to sit with their legs draped to one side – not cross-legged. 
  • Moon Time: In Nehiyaw (Cree) tradition, women are considered spiritually powerful during their Moon Time (menstruation), and therefore, do not actively participate in ceremonies. Everyone is welcome to watch and listen, but we ask women on their Moon Time to refrain from sitting in the circle and participating out of respect for the customs and traditions of the pipe ceremony.
Related links

Alexandra Park