Mother’s Day Sweat Lodge Ceremony

Michael Geboe Prevention Specialist RBHC 

The Rocky Boy Health Center Prevention Department organized a Mother’s Day Sweat Lodge Ceremony for community members in Rocky Boy on May 14th, 2023.  This event acknowledged the work mothers do for their families. The Sweat Lodge Ceremony, once forbidden by the U.S. government, is a sacred event considered a Culturally Relevant Best Practice by the Indian Health Service.  When you are on a healing journey the sweat lodge is a good place to begin because when you are sitting in a sweat lodge, you are at the center of the four directions. The sweat lodge ceremony forms part of the ceremonial life of many Tribal Nations. There may be regional and community differences in the way the ceremony is conducted. Sweat lodges are heated dome-shaped structures during certain purification rites and as a way to promote healthy living. The intense heat generated often by steam created from pouring water onto heated rocks is meant to encourage a sweating out of toxins and negative energy that create disorder and imbalance in life. In this way, the sweat lodge ceremony cleanses the body, mind and soul. The Mothers participating in the sweat lodge ceremony were presented with gift baskets and also took part in a talking circle.  The prayers, songs, language, and pipe use are all collective knowledge that has been shared via protocol and ceremony.  A Sweat Lodge Ceremony is beneficial to a person’s spiritual and physical well-being. It encourages introspection and communication with the Earth and the renewal of social and cultural bonds. Attached is a picture of the location where the sweat lodge is housed. The Sweat Lodge inside the building was built around 2010 and has been utilized throughout the year in all types of weather from -20 degrees on up to summer weather. 

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