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Today, tipis are used in temporary camps as a throwback to traditional Lakota living. They are majestic, they are sturdy, and standing inside of a tipi brings one back to a time that will never be recreated and to a tradition that was very nearly wiped out by settler colonialism and the U.S. Government.
A tipi does not represent all 500+ federally recognized tribes and some would say that erecting a tipi on campus is an oversimplification of a diverse array of cultures and a step towards perpetuating the stereotype that all Native people lived in tipis or that Indigenous People only exist in the past. We want to dismantle these beliefs and replace them with true understanding. We want to honor all Indigenous People and we recognize we have a lot to learn.
To combat the stereotypes that may be perpetuated, this year the tipi serves as a tribute to contemporary Indigenous heroes. Women like Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids are pictured with their biographies inside of the tipi. Our hope is that curiosity will draw people to the tipi and that the display inside will bring current Indigenous leaders into sharper focus.
For Proctor, the tipi represents a deep and important friendship and educational partnership that started with David Fowler, Albert White Hat, George Emeny, and John Around Him. The decades-old relationship is celebrated by recognizing pieces of Lakota culture through the raising of the tipi, annual dinners centered around buffalo, visits from the White Hat and Around Him families, and annual summer service trips. We believe that you strengthen connections through songs, food, people, traditions, meaningful engagement, and authentic relationships. If you are a Proctor Alumni and have ideas on how to make our programming more inclusive of your nation, we would love to hear from you.
Located in Andover, NH, Proctor Academy is a private coeducational day and boarding school for grades 9–12. Students benefit from a rigorous academic program, experiential off-campus programs, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.