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Policy 1180: Smudging and Pipe Ceremonies

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University Policy #1180

Section 1. Purpose

It is the purpose of this policy to clarify the University’s position with respect to smudging and pipe ceremonies by American Indians on University premises.

Section 2. Policy

Metropolitan State University is committed to diversity, inclusion, and creating an open and respectful campus climate for all. The University recognizes tobacco, sage, sweetgrass and cedar as traditional American Indian medicines and essential elements of purification and sacred ceremony.

Students, faculty, staff, elders and cultural teachers who are members of an American Indian tribe are free to use tobacco, sage, sweetgrass and cedar to conduct individual or group traditional practices including but not limited to Opening/Closing prayers, Individual or Group Smudging, Feasts, Pipe Ceremonies, Pow Wows, and Drumming/Singing.

This policy is meant to provide direction to the University community in engaging in these traditions while respecting everyone on campus.

This policy shall control in the event of any conflict with the Tobacco Free University Policy (Policy 1070).

Section 3. Authority

This policy is established in accordance with Minnesota’s Clean Air Act (Minnesota Statutes 1997, §144.4167 and §144.4165), the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA), and Metropolitan State University Policy 1070, Section 3.

Section 4. Effective Date

This policy shall become effective upon signature by the president.

Section 5. Responsibility

The support of diversity, and this policy, is a shared responsibility at all levels of the University.

The responsibility for implementing this policy is assigned to the Associate Vice President for Facilities Management.

Section 6. Implementation

The University will implement this policy by developing procedures that delineate expectations and flexibility in usage, locations, and notifications in order to promote an inclusive, open, and respectful campus climate for our diverse community members and guests.

Section 7. Review

This policy will be reviewed every five (5) years or as needed.

Section 8. Signature

Issued on this date: June 18, 2014

Sue K. Hammersmith