When Tammy Roberts discovered the tipi canvas at Camp Connections was missing, she first assumed it had blown away.
But Roberts, the executive director of the Foster Family Coalition of the NWT, soon realized the tipi polls were sitting bare for another reason.
“Once I realized it didn’t fall off, [I was] disappointed that someone would actually take our tipi canvas,” she says.
The tipi canvas went missing sometime between Sept. 26 and Oct. 1 from the campsite on the Ingraham Trail.
Effect on campers
Roberts says the worst part of the incident is she feels as though someone has stolen directly from her campers.
“It’s a violation of something that’s theirs,” she says, “and I think that’s what’s most hurtful about it.”
Roberts says the theft is strange, as she is unsure of why someone would want to steal a tipi canvas.
“I’ve been thinking about it, what someone would do with it?” she questions.
But whoever did it knew what they were doing, she explains, as the heavy canvas is around 22 feet in size and would require planning to transport.
“They had to work at it to take it, it wasn’t just like ‘oh let’s grab that’,” she says.
She says she hasn’t reported the incident to the police yet, as she hopes the person responsible will do the right thing.
If she could speak to the person who stole the canvas, her request would be simple.
“Bring the tipi back and set the tipi up… It means a lot to us and a lot to the youth who come to the camp,” she says. “It’s our marker when you’re going down the Ingraham trail that tells our youth that they’re at a place that makes them feel like home and it’s just not going to feel like that until it’s returned.”