Tipi Teachings

Members of the Mountain View Moccasin House Society welcomed Knowledge Keepers from the Stoney Nakoda First Nations who provided instruction during a Tipi Raising event in Olds on Nov. 5, 2021. Knowledge Keeper Ollie Benjamin led a group of assistants in raising the tipi at the Lions Campground while Knowledge Keeper Henry Holloway explained the techniques being used and the reasons for them. The event was to help increase awareness of Indigenous culture. Once the tipi was up, Knowledge Keeper Holloway - a former chief of the Stoney Nakoda First Nations - spoke about hunting traditions and protocols followed by his people for many generations.

In the photo on the above-right, Mayor Judy Dahl looks on with Robyn Sorenson (left) and Pam Lashmore (right) of the Mountain View Moccasin House Society, as Knowledge Keeper Henry Holloway welcomes visitors to the event.

Knowledge Keepers Ollie Benjamin and Henry Holloway address the crowd as the tipi parts wait to go up.

The Olds College Broncos provided lots of muscle and took in the program, alongside community members, young and old alike. Knowledge Keeper Ollie Benjamin provides direction as the first posts are about to go up.

The tipi foundational poles are about to be put in place.

With the three main poles in place, Knowledge Keeper Ollie Benjamin oversees the placement of support poles.

With all poles in place, the helpers work together to drape the outside wall (skirt) and stretch it in place.

One of the helpers splices the canvas seam together using traditional techniques.

Just some finishing touches left - the anchor pegs to hold everything in place. Of course, it is best to put up a tipi when the ground is soft as the pegs need to be pounded into the earth, but this was Moccasin House’s first opportunity to walk through the process. Thank goodness for the wonderful weather. 

After completion of the Tipi setup, Knowledge Keeper Henry Holloway spoke about hunting traditions and protocols followed by Stoney Nakoda first nations people.  He also shared that this area including the town we now know as “Olds” was known to the Stoney People as “Îsaguwin Oyade,” when translated means “old peoples' area”. This area was known for the pond or spring that is located west of Olds where the elderly people lived. Tipi poles were left there to be used by travellers as they passed through this area who wanted to set up camp.

Attendees listen to Knowledge Keeper Henry Holloway explain traditional hunting protocols.


Moccasin House Members hope to raise the tipi regularly in the community in the new year, and now feel they have an informed group that can be called on for help whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Mountain View Moccasin House Society members are grateful to the Olds Lions Club and the Town of Olds for the use of the campground, enabling them to have a campfire at the site. Both the Town of Olds and Mountain View County FCSS groups helped fund the day and have been a real support to Moccasin House this year.