SAPULPA, Okla. – A new attraction that popped up on the Mvskoke Reservation last holiday season has now become a tradition for many Native and non Native families alike. The Route 66 Sapulpa Christmas Chute returned to Sapulpa’s downtown district, and along with it the Sapulpa Indian Education department’s teepee display. This marks the sophomore year for both the chute and the teepee featured at it.
The teepee was displayed at the chute on Friday, Dec. 1. According to Sapulpa Indian Education Director Kayla Chupco (Choctaw), the date was picked in order to be as close as possible to Native American Heritage Month celebrated every November.
The department acquired the teepee as a way to share Native American culture with others. The teepee is not specifically representing one tribe, rather it represents the Plains tribes.
“When I heard the Christmas Chute was coming, I thought it would be a good example to have some cultural representation for everyone,” Chupco said.
The teepee can be found exhibited at other events, not just during the holidays. It is also used at the department’s cultural camp for elementary students.
The teepee display takes a group effort from students and volunteers. Some volunteers helped with setup, some took pictures of families, and others answered questions from visitors.
“We had a lot of kids that wanted to go inside and even older generations who also went inside. We had a student helping take pictures of families.” Chupco said.
Students from the Native American Student Association also made beaded ornaments which were sold to help with general fundraising efforts.
Although the display was only featured for one night, visitors can still explore the Route 66 Sapulpa Christmas Chute. For more information on operating hours and events, visit: route66christmaschute.com.