Native American Student Affairs hosted the annual Sunrise Ceremony on Aug. 28 to mark the beginning of a new academic year at the University of Arizona. The ceremony symbolizes spiritual renewal and a new beginning, and it coincides with the rising of the sun, representing a new day and the beginning of life.
Traditional healer Miguel Flores (Tohono O'odham/Pascua Yaqui) conducted the ceremony using burning cedar smoke while praying to the four directions. He then smudged those in attendance by using a ceremonial fan made of eagle feathers. Smudging is a ritual that is said to clear the mind and provide physical and spiritual strength.
For the past four years, the Sunrise Ceremony has been performed on the UA Mall. It has become a valued tradition for the Native American community. Later in the day, Native American Student Affairs joined Asian Pacific American Student Affairs to host an open house in the Nugent Building on campus.
Photos by John de Dios/UANews