The British Columbia Court of Appeal has dismissed a lawsuit from a Christian mother who said her kids were illegally forced to participate in an Indigenous “smudging” ritual at their school. It caps a legal battle that began over six years ago, and suggests that teaching kids about religion by having them experience a traditional ceremony first-hand isn’t the same as religious indoctrination.
The saga began in 2015, at John Howitt Elementary School, where mother Candice Servatius learned that her two kids would be attending a school-hosted “traditional Aboriginal smudging ceremony.” She claimed her kids had to hold up a cedar branch while sage smoke wafted over them as part of a “Cleansing Ritual.” All of this was done to introduce students to the practices of the Nuu-chah-nulth, Indigenous peoples from the Pacific Northwest.
By the time Servatius went to the school to complain, the ceremony was already over.
Months later, during another school event, a performer allegedly began a traditional dance with a prayer. All of this led Servatius to file a lawsuit claiming the school’s actions violated her religious freedom. ...
I agree with the mom. indigenous beliefs are still beliefs, or what we call religion, and all religious practice should not happen within a school function. Nobody is exempt because history made them suffer. This is what parochial schools, and Charters, are for. They are privately owned so can teach what they like. Public schools are restricted from that luxury by a thing called The Constitution. This is because they use public (tax) funds so must remove offenses to any part of the whole. What part of this is hard for everyone to understand?
I believe the point of the ruling was that there is a difference between just learning about a religion and being indoctrinated. You can teach what a religion believes without trying to "convert".
This happened in Canada which is not bound by the US Constitution.