The Sacred Fire has been lit at Cambrian College, bringing a strong spirit of unity to the campus and the community. A number of Aboriginal ceremonies took place on Thursday at Cambrian, to support the official Sacred Fire Arbour Awakening. The day began with a Sunrise ceremony, followed by an Awakening ceremony, which allow the Arbour to be used for future ceremonies, prayers, teachings, and workshops.
"The Sacred Fire Arbour is a welcoming place where people of all cultures may make offerings and balance their spirit, mind, body and heart," explained Kelly Senecal, Cambrian’s Aboriginal Cultural Facilitator. "Traditionally, the Sacred Fire is a doorway to the spirit world where anyone may communicate with the Creator, ancestors, and spirits. It represents our connection to the spirit world, and the light and fire that gives us life. Adding a Sacred Fire Arbour to Cambrian’s campus marks the realization of a dream to give students, staff, and members of the community a sacred place where they may practice their culture, communicate with ancestors, and honour traditions that support health and well-being."
"Bringing the Sacred Fire to Cambrian will help Aboriginal students connect with one another and with their culture, in a safe spiritual space," said President Sylvia Barnard. "Many of our students have been seeking a place to make these connections when they’re away from their homes and families, especially in times of celebration or loss. We’re very pleased to be able to offer the Arbour to students and the wider community, which will enhance their sense of belonging."
The Sacred Fire Arbour will be maintained year-round by student volunteers through Cambrian’s Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services. The Centre supports Aboriginal, Métis, and Inuit students in their transition to College life and helps to keep them connected to their community and culture throughout their College journey. The Arbour is made of logs with a metal roof that represents the four colours of the medicine wheel. It’s located just east of the main entrance of the College, which is on the north side of the campus.
About the Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services
Cambrian College and its Wabnode Centre for Aboriginal Services have a shared goal to improve Aboriginal, Métis and Inuit peoples’ access to, participation in, and completion of postsecondary education and training opportunities; thereby, closing the postsecondary education and training gap between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people in our region. The Wabnode Centre offers specialized student support services, coordinates community-based program delivery, and hosts programs and Elders on campus for spiritual and cultural support and awareness.
(705) 566-8101, extension 6375