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Drums being warmed prior to a sweat lodge ceremony. (Brett Huson) By Lenard Monkman, New Fire associate producer

Recently, someone asked me to name the moment my Mom was most proud of me.

The first thing that popped into my head was when I graduated from high . The second thing I thought about was completing my first year of sundance.

Sundance is considered to be one of the most sacred ceremonies for many First Nations communities and signifies a new year with the summer solstice.

When I walked out of the lodge last year, I remember my mom looking at me with the biggest smile. She walked up to me and we hugged. It was a hug that I will never forget — and somebody at the sundance took a photo of that moment.

Taking photos at a ceremony and posting them online is a highly contentious and divisive issue for many ceremonial peoples. To some, it’s downright blasphemous.

I often joke that "the first rule of ceremony is you don’t talk about ceremony."

But I’m glad I had a chance to see that photo. Opening up the conversation Desiree Morriseau grew up going to Midwewin ceremonies with her family. The Midwewin are a traditional, Anishinaabe medicine society. And for Morrisseau, these ceremonies are a time to spend with family and loved ones — not something that should be posted online."The dangers of having ceremony on social media is that there’s always more room for interpretation, and that really opens it up," she said."I think it loses a lot of its understanding and its value when you’re not there committed at that moment in time."Part of the reason for this quietness around ceremony is, I believe, rooted in colonial history. Ceremonies like sundance and potlatch were legally forbidden until the 1950s.I agree with […]

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