Students, faculty, and members of the public competed today in a special tipi raising at the University of Regina.

This is the 11th year that the Glen Anaquod Memorial Tipi Raising Competition has brought the community together for the traditional activity.

Anaquod was a respected elder from Muscowpetung First Nation who died in 2011. He was known as a loving friend and father, and was also a residential school survivor.

“He liked to share his knowledge in a respectful way,” said Nick Crighton, one of the organizers of the event. “But also in a humorous way.”

Crighton reflected on this humour by recalling how he used to teach.

“He always joked around. He used his ways to make it a little bit less intimidating to put up a tipi for the first time. That’s the spirit we continue to try and have every year at this competition.”

In a statement on their website, the University of Regina said the competition aims to create an engaging atmosphere for people to learn about Indigenous traditions and values.

“Celebrating the innovative structure of the tipi, we also explore what the tipi has to teach us in terms of our values,” the statement said. “Such as tending to our homes and families, the importance of teamwork, listening and observation, styles of leadership, and our ability to persevere in the face of obstacles.”

One group of university students said although it was hard, the work was worthwhile in order to learn more about traditions.

“It turned out better than we expected,” said Courtney Saboe while posing with her team beside their tipi.

As for Anaquod, Crighton believes his spirit is still present at every event.

“He’s still here, he is with us. His teachings are still going strong. You can feel his energy here.”