Thieves have taken a 22-foot tipi canvas from the Foster Family Coalition’s Camp Connections site outside Yellowknife, its executive director said on Friday.
Tammy Roberts said the disappearance of the tipi canvas had left staff and campers saddened. The canvas went missing between Saturday, September 26 and Thursday, October 1.
Now, only the poles remain.
The missing canvas was noticed on Thursday evening, when staff went to Camp Connections to prepare for a forthcoming camp.
“We would really like the tipi back,” said Roberts.
“If the person or people who took it could return it and set it back up the way it was before, we’d be extremely happy.”
While cameras were placed at Camp Connections several years ago, Roberts said a shift in cell service in the area had caused them to lose signal and stop transmitting data.
The tipi was purchased with fundraising money. Roberts said it is a symbol of the camp, letting people know they have reached the site at kilometre 57 of the Ingraham Trail.
“That’s the one thing they talk about the whole time that we’re driving out to camp. When they get to see they tipi, they know they’re there,” Roberts said of children who attend the camp.
Youth involved in social services across the territory are flown to Camp Connections each year to spend a week learning about the land in a safe environment.
“Camp may be the only consistent thing they have in their life, or something at least that’s reliable and feels comforting to them,” said Roberts.
“Our youth have experienced trauma, and I would hate for our youth to feel that this was another trauma added to them.
“Other groups use the camp. We want it to be a safe space for a lot of different people, and it just doesn’t feel safe when something like this happens.”
Anyone with information about the missing tipi canvas can call Roberts at (867) 765-8045.