Penticton residents experience erecting a teepee first-hand

Consulting resource elder Gus Timoyakin used bystanders to set up teepee for Indigenous Peoples Day

Those in attendance at the National Indigenous Peoples Day festivities at the Penticton Shatford Centre may have caught the demonstration to erect a traditional teepee.

Gus Timoyakin, a consulting resource elder with the Penticton Indian Band, pulled bystanders from the crowd to help him assemble two teepees for the event, which also featured a powwow, face painting and more. He frequently travels to schools and different bands in the area to teach the native language sylx̄cn dialect as well as the proper technique for erecting teepees.

Timoyakin explained the owner of the teepee would sleep directly across from its door, while elders would sleep on either side of the doorway so they would have easier access to leave for the washroom at night. He said in tribes where there could be dozens or more tents that look the same, they would tie markers to one of the tripod poles and then decorate the front of the canvas with unique symbols special to each family so that you could easily find the teepee you were looking for.

READ MORE: Floating the Okanagan River Channel in jeopardy?

Interestingly, many natives began using the canvas from buggies back in the days of colonization to repair damages to their buffalo-skin teepees. This practice of using material other than animal hide began commonplace, according to Timoyakin, who explained that the Hudson’s Bay Trading Co. then began to trade the natives sheets in exchange for animal hides.

Timoyakin said it is not that common for natives today to own teepees, but he still ensures that the youth in their culture know how to set them up for occasions like this.

To report a typo, email:

Jordyn Thomson | Reporter
Send Jordyn Thomson an email.
Like the Western News on Facebook.
Follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Okanagan Great Ogogogo Bathtub Race beats fundraising goal

Total money raised from the race series is $124,500

VIDEO: Rain doesn’t stop Penticton Terry Fox Run

Around 200 people showed up to raise money for cancer research Sunday

1955 Vees reign again at Classics hockey tourney in Penticton

The 1955 World Championship Vees took home the Moog Cup at minor hockey tournament

Road block was costly legal battle for Summerland

Resolving Garnet Valley dispute took six years

Coming Home: Penticton fire chief and disaster dog return from hurricane-ravaged Bahamas

The pair spent roughly one week on Great Abaco Island assisting in relief efforts

VIDEO: Rain doesn’t stop Penticton Terry Fox Run

Around 200 people showed up to raise money for cancer research Sunday

Video: Rain doesn’t deter Terry Fox runners in Salmon Arm

Dozens showed up to continue the Canadian icon’s marathon of hope.

Athlete of the Week: William Buttar

Though he is little, William Buttar is fierce as he makes his introduction into the sporting world

Conservatives promise tax cut that they say will address Liberal increases

Scheer says the cut would apply to the lowest income bracket

Urban Agriculture: Food forestry rooted in thinking of the ecosystem

Columnist dives into Okanagan urban agriculture

B.C. VIEWS: Cutting wood waste produces some bleeding

Value-added industry slowly grows as big sawmills close

Fewer trees, higher costs blamed for devastating downturn in B.C. forestry

Some say the high cost of logs is the major cause of the industry’s decline in B.C.

Federal food safety watchdog says batch of baby formula recalled

The agency says it’s conducting a food safety investigation

UVic president offers condolences after two students killed in bus crash

‘We also grieve with those closest to these members of our campus community,’ Cassels says

Most Read