Celebrating National Aboriginal Day with dancing and storytelling
This year, the Calgary Stampede partnered with the University of Calgary on its inaugural Campfire Chat. The event took place on St. Patrick’s Island on National Aboriginal Day—Tuesday, June 21, 2016.
A triple tipi raising and tipi painting ceremony took place during the day. In the evening, 150 people gathered around the campfire on the rise to see me perform a jingle dance and to hear Reg Crowshoe, former chief of the Piikani First Nation, speak.
I was very honoured to be part of the Campfire Chat. My goal as Indian Princess was to share and educate others about my culture, and this event gave me the opportunity to do just that with my fellow Calgarians.
As the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, I shared my story of growing up on the Pow Wow Circuit. My dad is a singer and my mom is a Jingle Dress Dancer, like I am today. They both taught me the respect and dedication it takes to be a dancer.
Reg Crowshoe spoke to his experience growing up in the residential school system, where he was told he could not speak his language or practise his cultural traditions of dance and ceremony. Storytelling, he explained, is vital to his culture.
“I’m grateful today,” he said at the event. “It’s so important that we facilitate a venue so that our young people can come and take pride in their culture, and their language, and share as much knowledge as they can with others. When we’re looking at moving ahead, we need to step up and take responsibility as Canadians to make a partnership that’s going to work.”
I was very honoured to be part of the Campfire Chat. My goal as Indian Princess was to share and educate others about my culture—and this event gave me the opportunity to do just that with my fellow Calgarians. Not many people know the history of First Nations people. This event gave people the opportunity to listen and ask questions in a safe, judgment-free environment.
NATIONAL ABORIGINAL DAY
This year, the 20th Annual
National Aboriginal Day was
150 people gathered around the
campfire for the inagural chat
104-year relationship between
Calgary Stampede and the five
tribes of Treaty 7