The Sweat Lodge is an Indigenous sacred ceremony still practised. The Sweat Lodge is a cleansing ceremony that provides teaching, cleansing, and healing. The Sweat Lodge ceremony is known to many Indigenous people as a rite of passage to reclaim their cultural identity and connection to ancestral wisdom, sacred teachings, and cultural identity.
For many Sweat Lodge Bundle Carriers the Sweat Lodge is the place of Mother Earth. The heartbeat, the songs, and the teachings shared within the Sweat Lodge ceremony washes away toxins that prevent connection to spirit, land, life, and healthy living. The basic elements of life (fire, water, earth, air) are brought together to bring teaching and healing to the people who enter through the breath of life of the Creator. To enter the Sweat Lodge by crawling in reminds those who enter the Sweat Lodge of the sacredness of life that all who enter must do so with humility.
The rocks that are placed within the Sweat Lodge are believed to hold spirit of the ancestors and the spirit helpers. The rocks are referred to as Grandfathers and/or Grandmothers in keeping with Indigenous world-view belief of honouring and respecting all of life. From a more physical perspective cleansing within the sweat lodge releases toxins from the body and helps to release stress. For those who have deepened their relationship to life and a way of life through sweat lodges and other indigenous ceremonies the cleansing holds much more healing that go beyond just physical cleansing.