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ST. PAUL, Minn. – A Minnesota school district has approved the use of smudging, a Native American cultural practice of burning sage or herbs for healing and cleansing negative thoughts.

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The St. Paul Public Schools approved the smudging policy during its Tuesday meeting, KMSP-TV reported.

“Students and staff may use tobacco, sage, sweetgrass, and cedar to conduct individual or group smudging,” the school district ruled.

“Adopting a smudging policy demonstrates the recognition of the cultural wellbeing of our Native students,” Brook LaFloe of the Tribal Nations Education Committee said during a school board meeting. “This recognition is an essential element of creating a safe space physically, mentally and spiritually for children to grow and learn in.”

While students and staff will be allowed to conduct smudging, it must be done under the direct supervision of an “appropriate school district staff member,” the school district said.

Smudging also must be practiced in a way that adheres to the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, CBS News reported.

Smudging has been used on an informal basis at some St. Paul schools, but supporters pressed for an official policy, according to the news network.

Native American students make up nearly 4% of the district’s population, according to CBS News.