In celebration of Native American Heritage Month at Northwest College, the third annual Tipi-Raising will be held at 4 p.m. in the yard of the NWC Intercultural House. Following the raising, area residents are invited to participate in a smudging ceremony.
Johnny Tim Yellowtail, Marenda Bearshield and Chris Finley will team up to raise the tipi.
Yellowtail is a member of the Crow Nation raised in the Apsáalooke ways. Bearshield is a full-blooded member of the Kiowa Tribe of Oklahoma. Finley, adopted by the Hill family into the Crow Tribe, is an archaeologist and former cultural resource program manager for the Bighorn Canyon National Recreation Area.
The three will discuss the significance of tipis to Native Americans, both historically and in today’s world. They’ll demonstrate how to raise a tipi honoring the Apsáalooke tradition and also explain how various tribal practices call for differences in tipi-raising.
The group will also perform a traditional smudging ceremony in which plants such as sage, cedar, sweet grass or bear root are bundled together and burned at one end. Smoke from the bundles is then fanned to create a cleansing bath of smoke.
This event is free and open to the public.