Tipi (Courtyard by the Sideways Stairs)


Traditionally a home, the tipi is a gathering place for everyone. It is intended to be used by and for an intergenerational community - students and their families, Elders and community members - to gather together and learn.

There are specific teachings about the symbolism and meaning of the tipi for Anishnaabe, Cree and other Indigenous peoples. The tipi’s structure is a symbolic representation of the core principles of the practice and approach of the Office of Indigenous Initiatives, which centers on reciprocal, balanced and responsible relationships with students, families and communities.


The tipi is a place for experiential learning, especially in relation to Indigenous knowledge, which includes learning from Elders and community knowledge keepers. It is a space for sharing circles, educational activities, prayer, reflection, and smudging. Smudging can take place without prior permission due to the outdoor location of the tipi. It can also be used as an alternative classroom space for use by students, faculty, staff, and community members. It will be raised each spring and lowered each winter.

If you wish to use a fire within the tipi, please be aware that there are specific permissions needed prior to the booking of a fire. Ten chairs are stored inside the Tipi. Blankets for use in the tipi can be borrowed from the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and returned after the event has concluded.

All information on booking the tipi can be arranged through the Secretary to the Director of Indigenous Initiatives (705-474-3450 ext. 4899) or biindgen@nipissingu.ca

Please respect the space and do not remove any items.​​​​​​