A tipi’s journey to North Dakota tribal college

Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCUs) are essential components to building strong communities. Travois is a proud supporter of the American Indian College Fund and its efforts to provide scholarships and support for the nation’s 34 tribal colleges.

We want to thank the College Fund for recently helping to facilitate the donation of a tipi to Cankdeska Cikana Community College (CCCC), the tribal college that serves the Spirit Lake Dakota Nation in Fort Totten, North Dakota.

The tipi was first used to publicize the art exhibition, “The Plains Indians: Artists of Earth and Sky,” which was on view at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, MO. After the exhibition moved to the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the museum allowed us to donate a tipi that was used to promote the exhibition to an important cause.

We were thrilled to have an opportunity to again work with Native artists Ryan RedCorn (Osage), of Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and Bobby Wilson (Sisseton-Wahpeton Dakota), of Phoenix, who created an original design and painted the tipi before it was shipped to North Dakota and passed on to CCCC. Ryan also took the stunning photo of the tipi shown above.

We first worked with Ryan and Bobby in 2012 when they painted a beautiful mural in our office (See the blog post here.) We hope the tipi can be used to create more recognition of Native students and to encourage arts education.

The College Fund shared news about the tipi’s journey and comments from its leadership and the president of CCCC:

Cheryl Crazy Bull, president and CEO of the College Fund, said, “The American Indian College Fund’s facilitation of the donation by Travois of a tipi painted by two leading Native artists and performers reflects the commitment of all parties to preserving our cultural arts and honoring our traditions. We are proud to be part of this partnership and thank Travois for making it possible.”

Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, president of CCCC, said, “The gift of a painted tipi to CCCC is immeasurable! The teaching, learning, and practicing of Dakota values are core to our work as educators for the Spirit Lake Dakota community. The tipi will contribute to art, culture, history, and all our programs of study toward the development and success of our students. Setting up tipi is a key task when we hold culture camps for college and high school students as well as teaching them about the practical aspects of making, living in, and transporting a tipi.”

Read more on Indian Country Media Network.

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