By Paula E. Kirman
Damian Abrahams and his young daughter smudge on a regular basis. A few years ago, the pair were walking down 118 Ave. in Edmonton and his daughter asked if they could go home to get some smudge for a homeless person.
“That thought stuck with me for a few weeks until it came to fruition,” said Abrahams.
From that thought came the first Healing the Streets.
“We smudge all corners of the streets, similar to how we smudge our own home in an effort to cleanse the negative energy that builds up.”
The third annual Healing the Streets will begin on Sunday, Sept. 3 starting at 6 p.m. on the southeast corner of 118 Ave. and 97 St. Smudging is planned to take place along 118 Ave. including 95 St.
Abrahams emphasizes that the smudging is available to anyone who wants or needs it, and also to help heal the trauma and violence women experience on Edmonton’s streets. People who receive a smudging do not have to be drug and alcohol-free.
“They don't have to be clean four days as they are often told. I've been taught that medicines are for healing and who better needs healing than those on the streets?”
Originally from Haida First Nation, Abrahams has lived in Edmonton for 15 years and is passionate about reaching out to the Indigenous community.
“I believe this is an important event because so many of our Indigenous brothers and sisters can't participate in the simple act of smudging due to their lifestyles. Often, simply smudging can reconnect their spirit to The Creator.”
Anyone who would like to assist with the smudging is welcome to show up on the day. Donations of smudge would also be greatly appreciated.
“I had no smudge for the first event so I relied 100% on donations,” said Abrahams.
For more information on Healing the Streets and how to get involved, visit the event's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/123412998280141/