Western Dakota Tech smudge ceremony aims to raise awareness of Native American traditions

The Eagle Feather Society hosted a traditional Native American ceremony to raise cultural awareness.

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - To raise awareness about Native American traditions, a student club at Western Dakota Tech held a prayer and smudge ceremony Sept. 6, the first of its kind at the school.

A circle of more than 15 students from various backgrounds joined together for a start of the school year smudging ceremony.

Led by a Native American Elder, the ceremony aims to purify and prepare students for the school year, while honoring diverse cultural traditions.

"The awareness and everything, so you have the respect, some people are more into their culture than others, some people don't know about their cultures. I think it's good to just have that idea so you're not overstepping your boundaries, I think it's good to know your culture, it's part of who you are," said Amanda Scheutzow, Eagle Feather Society member.

Burning sage and sweetgrass, the students were each cleansed by the Elder before heading to their classes.

All students, faculty, and staff were encouraged to attend.

The club said they are planning fundraisers throughout the semester to raise money for star quilts for the Spring graduates.