Blessing the Ground: Asking Permission Before Beginning Construction

Blessing the Ground: Asking Permission Before Beginning Construction

Lake Superior State University


Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians Elder Cecil Pavlat performs a ground blessing ceremony July 24 on the Lake Superior State University campus in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan to prepare for a construction project that will renovate and expand the university’s South Hall.

Pavlat performed the ceremony in his native Ojibwe language, “asking the Earth Mother for the privilege of opening her up” for the $12 million project that will become the home of the Lukenda School of Business.

Aaron Payment, chairman of the Sault Tribe and an LSSU alumnus, joined Pavlat at the ceremony. The program included remarks by LSSU President Thomas Pleger, in one of his first official acts since becoming president on July 1, and David Finley, dean of the LSSU College of Business and Engineering. Payment noted that most Sault Tribe members who have college degrees have earned them at LSSU. For more information about LSSU’s South Hall renovation project, visit


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