, 2023-01-19 04:15:00,
BISMARCK — Signs prohibiting the Native American practice of tattling at the University of Mary’s weekend powwow created a stir online, with some saying the policy was a violation of religious liberty.
The University of Mary’s no-soil policy was longstanding because of concerns about fire alarms being set off by stains, said Carmelita Lamb, associate dean of the School of Family Behavioral Sciences and Education. Liffrig from the university.
“It’s kind of heartbreaking that something as small as a sign makes everyone feel so bad. We do have some spots on campus, but a powwow is a social event and not a ceremonial event,” Lamb said.
Spotting is practiced by a variety of indigenous groups. It usually involves the burning of sacred herbs, sometimes to cleanse a person or place.
The no littering signs were posted at the university’s annual Mid-Winter Powwow, an event held on Sunday, January 15, in partnership with United Tribes Technical College.
Lamb said the Mid-Winter Powwow was a time for people to break the winter isolation, see friends, listen to music, put on their outfits and dance. “It was just a safety issue because the fire alarms are sensitive. We do not allow vaping or cigarettes or anything like that, with the risk of setting off alarm bells,” he said.
Tom Plenty Chief, a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation and president of Medicine Butte, a nonprofit group in Fort Berthold,…
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