Does Smudging Belong in the Workplace?

Authors: Toby Sawyer

Disciplines: Business and Management, Communications, Health, Law, Native American Studies, Political Science and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Sociology

Themes: Community Development, Cultural Preservation, Family and Youth, Health and Wellness, Human Services, Indian Identity, Indigenous Science

This short case describes a conflict among the staff at an urban Indian center about the use of smudging in the workplace. An employee used a smudging ritual to cleanse the office after a hostile client stormed into the center and threatened his ex-wife and the staff. He was subsequently arrested. The center staff is divided about the appropriateness of using smudging in the workplace. The director must make a decision about how to handle the situation.