This summer, the Calgary Stampede turns 100 years old in a celebration sure to envelop the entire city in a sea of Stetsons, stacks of pancake breakfasts and a chorus of “Yahoos.”
For those in the know, however, Stampede is far more than a 10-day party. It is a celebration of Calgary’s frontier history, a symbol of western hospitality at its finest and a critical link between our modern urban world and the agricultural community that still supports us.
As one major Calgary institution supporting another, the University of Calgary salutes the Stampede in reaching a major historical milestone. And we want to shine the spotlight on our rich and varied connections.
Our historians and experts in the Faculty of Arts have literally written the book on the Calgary Stampede and teach a course on it each year. Our animal science specialists at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine provide critical advice and innovative research to ensure animal-care practices are leading edge. Other researchers provide insight into midway rides and food, as well as how to prevent rodeo injuries. And our alumni are everywhere within the Stampede, from the senior executive offices to Stampede royalty to the army of dedicated volunteers who keep the show going.
Here is just a sampling of the University of Calgary’s connections to the Calgary Stampede.
(Photo by Riley Brandt)
2012 Indian Princess:
Role model of cultural validation
By Erin Mason
It’s been a whirlwind six months for the Calgary Stampede’s 2012 Centennial Indian Princess, Amelia Crowshoe, BCC’09—and it’s not even July yet.
Crowned in September, Crowshoe became the official ambassador and representative of the five tribes of Treaty 7 and the fifth generation of her family to participate in the Stampede’s Indian Village.
“Since I’ve been crowned it’s gone by in a blink,” said Crowshoe, days before departing on her second official trip to China earlier this year. “I’m totally ready for Stampede.”
Since graduating from the University of Calgary’s communication and culture program in 2009, Crowshoe has completed various contracts in stakeholder and community relations through Traditional Knowledge Services on her home reserve of Piikani Nation in southern Alberta. She also moved to British Columbia for part of 2010 but returned to Calgary later that year.
“Around that time came a break where I said ‘what next?’” says Crowshoe. “I’ve always wanted to be a Stampede Indian Princess, so I decided to apply.”
Her duties as Stampede Royalty are a full-time job right now, but Crowshoe has plans for a career in First Nations law so she can continue to work closely with her community and be a role model for young women.
“My grandpa always told me that you can’t live life within books,” says Crowshoe. “I’ve always believed that I’ve needed to experience what I’ve learned.”