Smudging is still going to take place at the Saskatoon Correctional Center, as Occupational Health and Safety undertakes a review of the cultural practice.
Staff at that facility has raised health concerns of second-hand smoke and allergens.
Usually sweetgrass, sage or other materials are burned for First Nations and Métis inmates.
“Regardless of the outcome of the OH&S review, smudging will still be available to offenders at Saskatoon Correctional Center and at other correctional centers across Saskatchewan,” Ministry of Justice spokesperson Noel Busse said. “This isn’t going to be the end of smudging in correctional centers; this is a review to see how we can kind of balance the needs of the offenders in our care with the need of the concerns that have been brought forward.”
Busse noted that other correctional centers have made accommodation that smudging takes place in designated areas.
A request for comment from the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations was not immediately returned.