Indigenous people are the keepers of nature.
ASI has been involved in an Indigenous engagement program for a series of EA projects within the Seaton lands in the City of Pickering. As part of this process, the Huron-Wendat First Nation were invited to conduct a “purification” (smudging) ceremony at the Sebastien site (AlGs-341), an ancestral Huron-Wendat village dating to ca. AD 1275-1325.
The ceremony took place on June 11, 2010, attended by citizens of the Huron-Wendat First Nation and Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation along with representatives from Donnelly Law, Ministry of Transportation, Ontario Realty Corporation, Durham Region, SRM Associates, URS Canada and ASI.
The purification ceremony, conducted by Rolland Sioui of Huron-Wendat First Nation, began by forming a circle and lighting the fire to burn cedar and sage. Sioui then distributed tobacco to all participants who then took turns putting the tobacco in the fire. After thanking the spirits in all cardinal directions, Sioui proceeded to go around the circle with the smudge so that everyone had a chance to purify themselves. A bear claw was also buried at the site. At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sioui thanked everyone for being there and reiterated the need to respect and protect the environment and that the Indigenous people are the keepers of nature.
Government officials and the Huron-Wendat delegates exchanged gifts in honour of the occasion.