Where is your favourite place to read?

I spent a lot of time in tents as my parents loved to travel and camp. I would bring a load of books from the library and read on the beach and by the light of the lantern.

When we travelled I investigated the different kinds of tents the Native Canadians used. My favourite was the teepee, a cone-shaped house made of animal skins or birch bark. Just as my family did at the end of a camping trip teepees could be broken down and packed away when the tribe decided to move and constructed quickly when a family settled in a new area. (see page 104 – Warbird) At Sainte-Marie they call it a wig-wam.

These cone shaped homes have four parts

  • a set of ten to fifteen sapling poles
  • An outer cover
  • an inner lining
  • and a door

You need ropes and pegs to hold the poles together at the top and keep the structure from flying away in a strong wind. In hot weather the lining is not used and the outside cover is rolled up to create ventilation.

The opening at the top and the smoke flaps make the teepee different from a regular tent. These two things allow the dweller to cook and keep warm with an open fire. The fire pit is in the center of the ground.

The smoke flaps at the top of the tipi are set at right angles to the wind, preventing the wind blowing in.

Try making one! Start small, big enough for some action figures. Before you know it, you’ll have one in your backyard!


Coming Soon!



Fourteen year old Jonny Joe wasn’t like any of the others at Redemption Residential Christian School. An orphaned white boy in a school full of Indians, he spoke English and a only a little of their native jargon. He knew nothing of their legends and beliefs. Life on Keeper Island was nothing but school, work, and hunger.

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