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Teepee erected through efforts of chamber, tribe

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RONAN — The Ronan Chamber of Commerce installed an 18-foot tall teepee on Friday morning. 

The newest traditional monument adorns the Mission Mountain Visitor's Center in Ronan, drawing tourists from U.S. Highway 93. Facing east, the Sioux-style teepee is made from two types of weather resistant canvas and lodge poles. 

“It was the chamber’s idea,” Ronan Chamber of Commerce Board Member Ky Bartels said. “We just felt that the reservation and its people needed to be represented.” 

After approaching the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council with the idea, the Chamber of Commerce contacted Larry Gauthier and Michael Pierre to construct the teepee.

Gauthier sewed the canvas together while Pierre gathered poles from timber 5,500 feet up in the Mission Mountains and constructed the frame of the teepee. 

The chamber plans to leave the teepee up until October and reinstall it every spring for tourists in the summer. 

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