Team members assembling tipis
Truth & Reconciliation

Reconciliation in action at the Annual Glen Anaquod Memorial Tipi Raising Competition

25 September 2023
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The tipi is more than a structure. Glen Anaquod, the late Cree elder, taught generations that raising a tipi provides the opportunity to learn important values such as leadership, respect, and family. This year a record 48 teams competed in the event Anaquod started 15 years ago. They were divided into four categories: Campus, Community, High School, and All Women with cash prizes awarded in each category for first ($350), second ($250), and third place ($150) winners.

Watch team members hammer stakes, raise the poles, and tie the tipi canvas.

“It’s the first time I’ve taken part and tried something new on campus. It was hard but really fun and I’m so proud my team was able to construct the tipi,” shared Anthonia Opara, a first-year student from Nigeria, and member of Team Kinesiology 100.

Four team members standing in front of an assembled tipi
Proud Kinesiology 100 students - Deborah Oto, Anthonia Opara, Prabhjot Kaur, and Savannah Lawrence. Credit: University Advancement and Communications

Anaquod, who passed away in 2011, initiated the competition to bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples together in the spirit of cross-cultural learning and reconciliation. The ta-tawâw Student Centre organizes the campus event which is held on the Dr. Lloyd Barber Academic Green.

Team members assemble a tipi
Anaquod family members demonstrate the finishing touches. Credit: University Advancement and Communications

“We focus much of our time on the trauma of the past which is necessary, but we also need to cultivate understanding, positive relations, and fun. The tipi competition gives us the opportunity,” said Keenan Cummings, Organizer and Program Coordinator for the ta-tawâw Student Centre.

Team members assemBling a tipi
Runner in action during pole tying. Credit: U of R Photography

The Crow Singers Drum Group performed. Demonstrating tipi raising techniques and paying respect to Glen Anaquod were members of the Anaquod and Dubois families.

Learn more about National Day for Truth and Reconciliation events.

Four team members stand in front of an assembled tipi
University and Advancement team wins in All-Women category – Kyla Rostad, Elsa Johnston, Erin MacAulay-Davalos, and Luanne Drake. Credit: University Advancement and Communications

“My Dad was passionate about making the connection between Indigenous knowledge and higher education. He really loved this competition and would be very happy to see it going strong,” said Gaylene Anaquod.

Banner photo credit: University Advancement and Communications

About the University of Regina

Set in the heart of the Canadian prairies we are a comprehensive, mid-sized university where the opportunities are as limitless as the horizon. Our campuses are on Treaty 4 and 6 - the territories of the nêhiyawak, Anihšināpēk, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda peoples, and the homeland of the Michif/Métis nation. It is our responsibility to strengthen relationships with Indigenous communities to build a more inclusive future for all. Our three federated colleges, 10 faculties, 25 academic departments, and 18 research centres foster innovative research with practical and theoretical applications. We are committed to cultivating the potential of our 16,000 students and supporting their health and well-being. We take learning beyond the classroom through work and volunteer experiences to develop career-ready graduates.

Let’s go far, together.

Facts about tipi poles in the Cree culture

  • Each of the 15 poles per tipi represents a value such as trust, love or respect. 
  • The first three poles represent the mother, father, and child. 
  • No one is allowed to step over the poles while they are on the ground. It would be like stepping over a grandparent and considered disrespectful.