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Teepee installation atop Peets Hill brings history of Indigenous people to life with an eye to the future

The teepee installation on Peets Hill is on display and open to the public through Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023.
Posted at 3:54 PM, Oct 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-10-10 18:07:08-04

BOZEMAN — There are stories to be shared up on Peets Hill thanks to Ben Pease, an artist who shares the stories, perspectives, and experiences of his native ancestors through his artwork.

“Imagine all the people who’ve come through this valley. Imagine all their stories both prehistoric and contemporary,” said Pease. “I come with this installation with great humility.”

Three teepees sit atop Peets Hill. One to honor ancestors, the second, to honor water, and the third is one of a kind: a mesh teepee honoring the connection to the landscape and the future of Indigenous people.

A special thought to the activists with Mountain Time Arts, K.D Chavez and Francesca Pine Rodriguez.

“When thinking of the Indigenous future teepee—I’m wanting to see other examples of Indigenous architecture being made and thought of in Bozeman city planning,” said Chavez.

Pease, Chavez, and Pine Rodriguez are preparing for the celebration atop Peets Hill where the teepees will be on display until Wednesday, Oct. 11.

“It took us several hours to set up these teepees,” said Chavez. “But you know, some native women can get them up in minutes.”

The public is invited to walk through the teepees and take in all the beauty.

“Seeing my own kids walk through them and seeing the smiles on their faces makes me so happy,” said Chavez. “Bozemanites come up here all the time but our ancestors have been coming here for tens of thousands of years.”

And Ben Pease will continue using his artwork to make sure the voices of those Indigenous people are heard for years to come.

“There is value in everyone’s story, but on this Indigenous People's Day, we celebrate those whose story didn’t get to play out like ours,” said Pease. “We’re so fortunate.”