Multiple hands, multiple lessons, and multiple parts came together at the teepee raising yesterday at Great Plains College (GPC).

Students and their families were able to come out and learn how to raise a teepee on the lawn of GPC, as a part of National Indigenous Peoples Day.

Kids were instructed by elders of the Nekaneet First Nation on the history of teepees, how to properly raise them, and how to make sure they didn't come down once raised.

One of the elders instructing these young learned children was Dale Mosquito. 

Mosquito has been a proponent of sharing indigenous culture with other people here in the southwest for many years and has been actively involved in many events that seek to further embrace the idea that Canada is a country of many peoples, and that their unique cultures come together to make the country a richer, better place.

With yesterday being National Indigenous People's Day, Mosquito was excited to once again share his culture with the young minds in attendance.

"National Indigenous Day, June 21st, is celebrated for the indigenous culture, but we're just a small part of a fabric of something greater than that," said Mosquito. "Today we got to see who our neighbours are and get to share a little bit about what we have."

After they finished explaining how the Tee Pee is an important part of the culture, how it was constructed traditionally, and some general rules for working together on raising the teepee, Mosquito invited the children over to help assemble the ancestral abode of many indigenous cultures.

Together, they prepped a pole with the actual tent tarp. This pole would go up last and had to have the tarp folded the right way for later. Mosquito and other elders helped the young men learn from them to rope together and stand up the poles that formed the frame of the teepee.

They made sure to show them how to tie the supports together, how to ensure they were standing sturdy, and how to lean them up while tying them with a rope by winding it around each pole as it went up. 

It was at this point Ryan Switzer, a councillor for the City of Swift Current, was brought in to assist with some of the more vertical and intricate work.

After the frame was finished, and the boys had made sure everything had been done according to Mosquito and the other elders' specifications, they worked together as told to stand up and unfold the tarp pole. 

The tent was then wrapped around the poles, forming a teepee.

Switzer had the honour of being instructed on fashioning together the front entry side of the teepee, under the supervision of not only Mosquito but all the curious eyes of the children watching.

The process was concluded when Mosquito invited everyone attending the event to join him inside the teepee, where he shared more lessons and knowledge in a close and personal setting.

"The teepee raising is awesome because it's a visual reminder, but for kids, it's actually hands-on as well too," shared Mosquito. "Just mere days ago, the reconciliation happened here in Surf Current. So now we're just building on that we're actually getting comfortable enough to know each other, and once you have that comfort in there then the work can actually start. Those are all building blocks for good community."

After the teepee rasing finished, everyone proceeded over to Market Square. There, refreshments were handed out, and dancers performed traditional dances for everyone in attendance.

The dancing was cut a bit short though, as rain finished the day off with a fun scramble for cover to avoid getting drenched. Indeed, a teepee would have done the trick.