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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

A Blackfoot home in the middle of campus: Teepee raised at University of Calgary – Calgary


A teepee was raised at the University of Calgary on Monday to welcome students to campus.

“It’s beautiful to see a Blackfoot home in the middle of a university campus. I really like it. It makes the campus look nice and brings out the diversity of the Treaty 7 people,” said U of C student Julius Hirsch.

Reg Crowshoe, a Piikani Nation elder and U of C Indigenous strategy adviser, is proud to have designed the teepee.

“It’s a visual for our young people,” he said. “But I also hope that it sparks some sort of support for Indigenous oral systems, so we can teach our young people.”

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Crowshoe hopes the teepee helps welcome both Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.

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“I’m proud for our young people to see it and feel at home,” he said.

“When I first came to this campus back in the early 1970s, I felt so alone because there was nothing like this. No visuals, and you were in a sea of a written default system of people learning, and you were the only oral system learner,” he added.

“You’re saying, ‘How am I going to survive?’”


People set up a teepee at the University of Calgary on Monday, Aug. 30, 2021.


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As for Indigenous students like Hirsch, he hopes this will not only welcome students but also prompts people to learn more about their history.

Read more:
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“Hopefully, it would make [Indigenous students] feel more at home, more comfortable. They could be themselves, and they don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed or feel uncomfortable with their past or their background. This is a really good way to be prideful of your background,” he said.

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“I really hope this makes people want to get involved and educate themselves more about Canadian and Indigenous affairs and relationships.”

The teepee will remain up until Wednesday.

– With files from Carolyn Kury de Castillo




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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