Based on the Lakota words for “dwelling,” the tipi is both a remarkably evolved shelter, as well as a symbol that embodies and embraces Native values and spiritual teachings. As such, it has become a memorable carrier of identity, heritage, and tradition… and a suitable name and symbol for our aspirations.

 
Admired by architects and archeologists alike for its highly evolved functionality over thousands of years (comfortable shelter, outstanding portability, exemplary use of local materials, durability and flexibility, etc.), the tipi also exhibits a remarkable integrity between structural form and cultural value. Powerful symbolic associations with the spiritual realm embody earth with Mother while the tipi’s lodge cover represents the sky and Father. Poles (each imbued with their own teaching) provide trails along which the Peoples’ prayers might reach the Great Spirit. The rope that ties the poles together at the top binds together the myriad of teachings.

 

A beautiful tipi is like a good mother: she hugs her children and protects them from heat and cold, snow and rain. — Lakota saying