Our DRP motorcycles and officers are now ready for a safe and busy summer season after a smudging ceremony held at the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Band Office on June 11.
The idea sprang from a trip DRP Cst. Al Ouellette took with the Blue Knights International Motorcycle Club, a non-profit organization made up of active and retired police officers, when he attended a convention in Montana. Fifteen of the riders decided to embark on a week-long trip to tour the Native American reserves. At their first stop at Crow Reserve, Elder Billy Big Day performed a smudging ceremony to protect the riders and their bicycles.
Smudging is the act of cleansing any bad feelings or spirits or negative thoughts or energy so you are cleansed both physically and spiritually. It calls on the spirits of sacred plants to drive away the negative energy and restore balance and the ceremony must be entered into with a good heart. Sweetgrass is commonly used as it brings in good spirits and positive influences.
“It was such a moving ceremony, I thought it would be an amazing opportunity to partner with the Mississaugas of Scugog Island to bless our bikes at the start of our season,” said Cst. Ouellette. “And once I contacted them, they were happy to perform the smudging for us.”
Elders Harold Ashkewe and Leona Charles were on hand to bless not only the members and motorcycles from DRP but from our policing partners from the OPP.
Another reason to bless the motorcycles hits close to home. DRP’s Traffic Services Sergeant Jeff Galipeau was involved in a serious collision while on duty in 2007. He sustained several serious injuries and was off work for five months. Jeff still suffers from ongoing back pain from that day. “Sgt. Galipeau’s collision was additional motivation to do all we could to ensure the safety of our members.”
The DRP would like to thank the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation Elders for their blessing.
motor thumb (JPG file, 40.5K bytes)
The DRP motorcycles (JPG file, 2,242.7K bytes)
Elder Harold blesses Cst. Wannop (JPG file, 375.3K bytes)
Smudging the motorcycle (JPG file, 405.8K bytes)
Cst. Ouellette presents a gift of sweetgrass to Elders Harold and Leona (JPG file, 397.9K bytes)
OPP Csts. Long and Lone and DRP Csts. Ouellette (JPG file, 499.6K bytes)
The participants in the smudging ceremony (JPG file, 360.4K bytes)