‘We got this wrong’: Elkhorn Resort apologizes for plan to rent out teepees

WINNIPEG — Manitoba’s Elkhorn Resort Spa and Conference Centre has issued an apology after it built two teepees it had planned to rent out.

On its website, the resort said it put up the two 18-foot Dakota style teepees and said there are many teachings around the teepee which vary from community to community and nation to nation.

But when rentals were posted, the company received some criticism calling the rental option cultural appropriation.

Now the resort is no longer planning to rent teepees and it issued a statement on its website saying, “Elkhorn Resort would like to apologize for our recent posts regarding the teepees at Elkhorn Resort. We got this wrong,” the post said.

“We have left the posts up because we recognize these conversations are important and necessary. These conversations are not always easy, but we commit to learning from this and to doing better. We will not be renting the teepees at this time. We are reaching out to the Indigenous community to determine the best way to move forward. That should have been our first step. We sincerely apologize.”

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Arlen Dumas said he is impressed by the resort for how it chose to address the issue in such a constructive way.

He said they did not shy away from the mistake they made.

Dumas called this a learning moment for the resort and added it is an opportunity for Elkhorn and the surrounding communities to collaborate and draw attention to some of the historical relationships in the province.

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