Cultural Activities

Traditional Sweat Lodge Ceremony

Skwachàys has a traditional First Nations Sweat Lodge and we offer private Sweat Lodge Purification Ceremonies. The Ceremonies are lead by a Sweat Lodge Keeper, who adheres to Aboriginal traditions.

The Sweat Lodge, located in the rooftop garden, is a domed structure that symbolizes Mother Nature’s womb. It is constructed from inter-woven willow branches. During the ceremony the Keeper places heated rocks, traditionally known as “grandmothers and grandfathers”, in the Lodge to cleanse and purify the participant’s heart, soul and spirit by bringing life balance and connecting you to Mother Nature.

Traditional Smudge Ceremony

Skwachàys has an authentic Aboriginal Smudge Room on our Raven Level (6th Floor).

Sweat Lodge

The shape of the willow frame represents the mother’s womb.

Native people use plants in a sacred manner called smudging to purify a person’s body and spirit as well as a home or area. In a Smudging Ceremony, sacred plants are burned, surrounding the participants’ body and senses in the aromatic smoke.

Three different kinds of plants are used in Northwest Aboriginal Culture to smudge. Cedar bows are burnt for the purpose of cleansing; the smoke rises and the prayers make their way to the Creator. Sage is burned in smudging ceremonies to drive out ill feeling or influences, protecting the place of ceremony. Sweet Grass, one of the most sacred plants, is frequently burned after either sage or cedar to bring in positive influences and energies.

These ceremonies are personal and private, so arrangements must be made in advance. Minimum number of people are required. For information and costs please contact us.

Coming Soon

Skwachàys will be offering a wide array of arts and cultural activities, including interpretive and self-guided tours of the best Vancouver has to offer.