Have you seen photos of this beautiful display of hope in your daily scroll? I got these pics from my younger cousin who lives in Billings, but the Billings Gazette also caputred some gorgeous shots of these teepees lit up for hope.

The project is called “The Lighting of the Teepees: A Symbol of Hope” and was put together by the Pretty Shield Foundation and Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council. Participants say the teepees are a symbol of hope, and erected on Billings Rimrocks as a way for the community to remember those who passed in 2020, and all of those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

My cousin Kayala suffered some significant losses this year, and visited the teepees to place rocks in remembrance of those she has lost. She placed a rock for her auntie Anita, our nephew Koda Gene, and her grandfather Wilfred. So the teepees aren't just a beautiful sight, they are helping many Montanans through the healing process.

Photo by Kayala Moccasin Gladue

The teepees will be on display through January 3rd and I've gotta give it up to the good people who made this project a reality and put in the work to construct the whole thing. I've never helped put up a teepee, but I've seen it done a million times, and those who know how to do it make it look easy, but it's not. And to put them up in the middle of winter on the Billings Rimrocks had to be a challenge.

I love what The Lighting of the Teepees symbolizes, that it's bringing hope to a somewhat somber holiday season, and that it's bringing our state together to remember, and honor those we have lost this year. Here's the Billings Gazette article that has gone viral across the country.

Photo by Kayala Moccasin Gladue

LOOK: Just some of the photos that capture the historic year that was 2020