Bismarck High School students build tipi in front of the campus

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Along one of the busiest streets in Bismarck, you may have noticed a tipi in the front of Bismarck High School.

The Bismarck High School Four Directions club decided as one of their projects they wanted for the year was to learn how to build a tipi.

“It feels good like sharing our culture with everyone else because like not a lot people think we’re still here, but we are,” shared Amaya Willis.

The canvas tipi was donated by United Tribes Technical College.

The school brought over the tipi and taught them how to put it together and the history behind it.

“Well I knew it took a lot of work but I didn’t know like only the women did it. So I learned that,” said Willis.

“The rope that ties all the poles together it’s like the umbilical cord for the tipi and everything,” explained Evan LeBeau.

Native American students are the largest minority population at BHS and the school says culturally responsive teaching is important.

“We want all students to feel included. And we have 146 students at Bismarck High School which is roughly 13 percent of our student population — which is a very large group of kids. And you know we want them to feel included. And this is just a great way to show that pride in them,” explained Lynette Johnson, the Assistant Principal at BHS.

The students say they are proud to share their culture with the community.

“It feels good to share our culture with my class because most of them like they never probably been in a tipi. And so this is their first time or seeing a tipi,” shared LeBeau.

Teachers have been able to reserve the tipi throughout the week to bring their students outside for class.

The tipi took the students an hour and a half to put together. It will be up through this weekend of May 1.

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