Indigenous: Anishinaabe Teepee

This video showcases an Anishinaabe Teepee, built by Elder Tony Solomon.

A teepee is a structure, traditionally made of animal skins upon wooden poles and a smoke flap at the top.

  • The round shape of the teepee represents the “Sacred Circle of Life.” To live in it meant everything was in balance and harmony.
  • The floor represents the earth on which we live.
  • Three tripod poles anchored together form the foundation of the teepee. They represent the “Family - Past, Present, and Future.”
  • Additional poles added to the foundation represent “The Growth of the Family.”
  • A canvas cover is placed over the structure with the front door typically facing east, the direction of the sun rise.

The teepee was convenient to the Indigenous peoples of the Plains and Canadian Prairies of North America, and are still in use in many of these communities, though now primarily for ceremonial purposes rather than daily living.

The teepee is durable, provides warmth and comfort in winter, is cool in the heat of summer, and is dry during heavy rains. Teepees can be disassembled and packed away quickly when people need to relocate and can be reconstructed quickly upon settling in a new area. This portability was important to Indigenous peoples with their nomadic lifestyle.


About Indigenous Peoples of Canada

The history of Indigenous peoples in Canada is rich and diverse. This history stretches long into the past before the arrival of the European newcomers with diverse interactions among different peoples, flourishing trade and fierce conflict, and competition for lands and resources. The history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis is essentially the very history of Canada as they have played, and continue to play important roles in its development and its future.


Indigenous people have lived in the area now known as B.C. for more than 10,000 years. They developed their own societies, cultures, territories and laws. When European explorers and settlers first came to B.C. in the mid-18th century, the province was home to thousands of Indigenous people.

Today, there are approximately 200,000 Indigenous people in British Columbia. They include First Nations, Inuit and Métis. There are 198 distinct First Nations in B.C., each with their own unique traditions and history. More than 30 different First Nation languages and close to 60 dialects are spoken in the province.


Indigenous food in particular is considered very Canadian. Métis in Canada played a particularly important role in the origin of Canada and Canadian cuisine. Foods such as bannock, moose, deer, bison, pemmican, maple taffy, and Métis stews such as barley stew are all either traditional Indigenous foods or originated in Canada with roots in Indigenous cuisines, and are eaten widely throughout the country. 


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