May 12, 2020 4:01 PM

FBI, ATF investigate tipi burning at Indian school in Kansas

Posted May 12, 2020 4:01 PM
TIpi fire photo courtesy Haskell Indian Leader
TIpi fire photo courtesy Haskell Indian Leader

LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Federal agencies are helping with an investigation into the burning of a tipi outside Haskell Indian Nations University.

The ceremonial tipi was burned early Saturday on the school's campus in Lawrence.

Lawrence and Douglas County fire officials say the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives have joined the investigation. The cause of the fire is still under investigation but Lawrence fire officials say arson is a possibility.

The tipi was built to honor Haskell’s 2020 graduating seniors. A fundraiser to replace the tipi, which cost an estimated $2,500 to $3,000, has raised more than $15,000.

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A fundraiser is underway to replace a tipi that burned over the weekend on the Haskell Indian Nations University campus in Lawrence.

The fire had almost completely consumed the tipi’s sheathing when fire crews responded around 4:30 a.m. Saturday. Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical Division Chief Dan Fagan said the cause of the fire is still unknown, but arson is a possibility.

Haskell Foundation executive director Aaron Hove said the tipi will cost $2,500 to $3,000 to replace. It was erected to honor Haskell’s 2020 graduating seniors.

“We’ve been very encouraged by the outpouring of support,” he said. “We’re really thrilled. It allows people to feel like they are doing something about this.”