Sweetgrass is sacred to Indigenous people across North America.
“It was given to us by the Creator. We use it to smudge and purify ourselves,” said Victoria Crowchild.
But the 84-year-old said there’s nothing sacred about an Alberta department store selling from its shelves.
Packaged sweetgrass labeled as “smudge sticks” was found recently in the home décor section of a Winners store in Calgary.
“When I saw the sweetgrass. It really hurt me because that’s part of our culture. It’s part of our tradition. It’s part of our beliefs and to desecrate it like that,” said Crowchild.
“Obviously the people who purchase were not made aware of what it really meant.”
A spokesperson for Winners said stores have previously been told to remove all sweetgrass products and are looking into how it made it on the shelves in Calgary.