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Tipi raising competition creates awareness and connections with community

By Dale Johnson Posted: September 30, 2016 2:00 p.m.

About 500 students, faculty, staff and community members turned out to for the annual tipi raising competition at the U of R.
About 500 students, faculty, staff and community members turned out to for the annual tipi raising competition at the U of R. Photo: U of R Photography

The Dr. Lloyd Barber Academic Green was the site of a friendly competition of putting up tipis on September 30, for the annual Glen Anaquod Memorial Tipi Raising Competition, which was initiated by the late Cultural and Traditional Advisor Glen Anaquod from the Muscowpetung First Nation.

The goals of competition are to provide aboriginal cultural awareness and to interact and learn in a fun environment. The competition emphasizes the importance of the tipi, culturally and educationally, while building the spirit of teamwork. The competition is open to the university community, high school students, and the general public. In all, there were 45 teams, and about 500 people took in the day’s events.

The title sponsor of the event since 2013 is K+S Potash Canada.  

“This type of sponsorship aligns with K+S Potash Canada’s values, because it helps foster relationships with people from our local communities. As a new company in Saskatchewan, it makes sense for us to sponsor these types of events because we believe in the importance of involving First Nation and Métis people in our operations, and we are seeking to include them in our workforce today and into the future,” explains Terry Bird, lead advisor, First Nation & Métis Initiatives, Lands & Sustainable Development, K + S Potash Canada.

Bird also says the wider community, beyond the University of Regina, benefits from the competition.

“The event has grown larger over the years and I have watched as an increased number of non-aboriginal students have become more interested in understanding and comfortable with participating in the culture of First Nations people. This is of significant importance for the future of the event, as well as for Saskatchewan and its economy,” Bird says.