Raising tipis and awareness

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ACS holds fourth-annual tipi-raising competition

Sophie Long
News Writer

The Univerity of Regina Aboriginal Student Centre held its fourth-annual tipi raising competition on Sept. 30. The event was held on the Academic Green and, although it was a crisp, breezy morning, there was a full crowd.

“It’s getting bigger and busier every year,” said Sabrina Sparvier, ACS manager.

Members of the crowd ranged from eight-year-old students to elders. A Grade 3 class from Henry Janzen Elementary School came to watch the competition after an intern from the university suggested the event.

“This is a great way for the students to see construction, since simple machines are part of their science curriculum,” said Miss Miller, their teacher.

Students from Thom Collegiate also came to take part in the competition. The students erected tipis with guidance. Afterwards, some commented, “That was much harder than I thought it would be,” and, “It’s so cool, I could live in one of those.”

The competition was divided into three categories: students, women, and community. The women’s category was created in memory of Constance Dubois, a prominent member of the aboriginal community who died several years ago. The Dubois family made a speech on her behalf at the beginning of the barbeque lunch.

The Anaquod family also spoke on behalf of the elder Glenn Anaquod, who passed away in May this year. Glenn initiated the inaugural competition four years ago due to his strong beliefs in the meaning of the tipi.

“This is an important year for us, to honour two families,” Sparvier commented.

The tipi is erected by raising poles to form a base, and each of the poles has a lesson or meaning to it. When all of the poles are joined together, it represents different beliefs all reaching the same creator.

“Really, it’s just all about community” Sparvier said. “It shows that people from all walks of life can come together”

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