Ceremonial practices

Ceremonial practices

The University of Ottawa, being on Indigenous land, recognizes Indigenous peoples’ rights to freely practice their religious and spiritual traditions and welcomes traditional ceremonial practices such as smudging, lighting the qulliq and sacred fires on its premises.

For a full description of each practice and for additional information, consult the Policy 124 - Provision for Indigenous Ceremonial Practices for Events on University Campus.

To have ceremonial practices on campus:

Persons and groups wishing to include ceremonial practices on campus must make their request to Conventions and Reservations at least five business days prior to their ceremony in order to avoid any fees.

  • If you already have a file started with one of our Coordination Agent, please advise them via email.
  • If this request is part of an event, please submit a request form. You will be prompted to request a Ceremonial Practice in this form.
  • If this request is part of an academic course or you have already made your arrangements for the space booking, please send us an email at congres@uOttawa.ca at least 5 business days prior to your Ceremonial Practice (15 days for sacred fires request) with the following details:
    clipart of indigenous sacred fire
    • Date and approximate time of the Ceremonial Practice
    • Building and room number
    • Type of Ceremonial Practice (smudging, lighting the qulliq or sacred Fires)
    • Who will be doing the Ceremonial Practice (full name and cell phone)
    • Description of your activity

View the list of authorized rooms for ceremonial practices

Please note that requesting spaces that are not in this list will require additional approval and access may be refused if proper notice is not provided.

Why do I need to submit my Ceremonial Practice to Conventions and Reservations?

  • We will ensure that the room selected to perform the Ceremonial Practice is authorized for this type of activity, or we will coordinate any required alarm by-pass.
  • We keep the University of Ottawa departments informed of any Ceremonial Practices held on campus. Giving notice recognizes the importance of the ceremonial practice and that some members of the community may be sensitive and or allergic to smoke from these medicines.
  • We will inform you of different steps that will be required during your Ceremonial Practice to ensure you are compliant with the policy, such as putting this notice on the door.
  • In the event of a Sacred Fire, we will help you coordinate the mandatory City Permit and obtain the University of Ottawa authorization.
  • We can help you coordinate the service of a Knowledge Keeper ($) to perform the Ceremonial Practice or/and a translator ($).

For more information about Indigenous protocols, we consult the Elders and Traditional Knowledge Keepers: uOttawa Guide to Indigenous Protocols.

You will find the uOttawa Indigenous Affirmation on page 4, or on the Mashkawazìwogamig: Indigenous Resource Centre homepage.

Click here to print the poster sign (pdf, 34.34 KB).


When reserving an authorized or restricted room at least five business days before the ceremony, there are no charges.

Should you request permission less than five business days before the ceremony, you will be charged fees due to the amount of additional labour and impact on our employees.

Room Type

Request and/or confirmation of contract before 5 business days or more before Ceremony

Request and/or confirmation of contract received 4 business days or less before Ceremony

Authorized Rooms



Coordination agent discretion
(up to $35)

Restricted Rooms

(Requires facility coordination with fire alarms)


$250 late facility coordination

$35 late fee

Non-authorized Rooms

Ceremonial Practices cannot take place in these rooms due to safety issues (fire hazard, flammable chemicals, etc.). Please work with C&R to find an alternative location.

View list of authorized rooms.

We encourage you to submit your request at least five business days before your event and to select an authorized location to avoid additional costs.

Concerned about a Ceremonial Practice taking place?

Typically, the amount of smoke associated with these types of ceremonies is minimal and lasts a very short time, but we recognize that some members of the community may be sensitive and or allergic to smoke from medicines used during Ceremonial Practices.

If you have any concerns relating to this matter, please contact the Mashkawazìwogamig: Indigenous Resource Centre by phone at 613-562-5800 ext. 2496 or by email irc-cra@uOttawa.ca.

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