The Highlights of a Stampede Princess

It is crazy that I only have four and a half days left till I am no longer Princess Stephanie Gray. This last week has been a roller coaster of emotion as I go from feeling excited to move forward with my schooling and starting to work, to terribly sad that I no longer get to represent The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth. The girls and I attended over 450 events this year and had one of the most exhilarating and influential years of our lives. One of the most common and hardest to answer question we usually get is, “what has been your highlight of the year?” The obvious answer is, of course, STAMPEDE! We always say it because it was such an incredible 10 days for us and by far the best time of every day was galloping around the arena during Grand Entry and getting to speak in front of 20,000 people before the Chuckwagon races. However, I have decided that I wanted to make a quick list of some of the other highlights of my year that may not be so obvious:

I loved driving through Stampede Park all year as we would always meet at headquarters before an event. It was very cool to drive through right after we were crowned and watch the leaves change, to seeing the park covered in snow and fighting off the Hockey traffic on some nights, to watching the set up for all the Spring events including Aggie days, and then feeling so much excitement once the Midway Park was being built for Stampede. Driving through the park throughout the year was almost felt like a metaphor to how my year was, and now that I am coming to the end of my year I look at the Park very differently.

  • Whit and I both got to drive a school bus thanks to Southland Transportation. We got to drive it through a sort of obstacle course to everyone’s horror. I was excited!
  • At every Rodeo with a midway park, Whitney and I would always go on the Zipper.
  • Going on a trail ride and tubing on the Shusawap while we were in Armstrong, BC.
  • Being one of the judges at Eva’s Special during the Tsuu T’ina Pow Wow.
  • Being able to speak at my old junior High, St. Gregory
  • Gossiping in the back of Jenna’s car with the girls while we sat in the parking lot after numerous events.
  • I know the words to many old songs including the Old Grey Mare, Bicycle Built for Two, and The Calgary Song as I sang to them every last Tuesday of the month in a different Seniors Home with the Promotion Committee. That was always a lot of fun.
  • Starting in March every Tuesday and Thursday the girls and I would go out and ride our boys Hawk, Snoopy, and Kansas. Once it started getting nice out we started riding outside and having a lot of fun. Wendy also took us out to her beautiful property where we went on a great ride out there.
  • Answering kid’s questions when we would go to schools as those were the best, and funniest questions ever.
  • Wandering the Banff Springs Hotel when we stayed there for a Tourism event.
  • Getting to escort all the Chuckwagon drivers up on stage during the Tarp Auction as I have watched many of them compete in previous Stampedes.
  • Attending all the Giddy Up events that are put on for kids with special needs.
  • Building a tipi with the girls during our training
  • Getting invited to Cavalia’s opening night in Calgary. Especially since Jenna, Whit, and I were trying to think of ways to find money to buy tickets!
  • Getting to know Mayor Naheed Nenshi who was always treated us with great respect, but wasn’t afraid to laugh with us. We all became very proud of our Mayor.
  • Becoming best friends with Jenna, Whit, and Eva. Hands down this will always be the greatest highlight of my year.

This list is getting to be extremely long and I don’t even feel I have scratched the surface! Those are definitely some of my fondest memories, and while it makes me so happy I was able to experience those wonderful things I am sad to being say good bye to this journey as well. However, where our journey ends is the beginning of a journey for three more lucky ladies. I am so proud of the Top Six contestants currently competing to be the 2012 Stampede Queen and Princesses and wish them all the best of luck before the crowning on Sunday. I know they have a year’s worth of “highlights” coming to them…

2012 STAMPEDE CENTENNIAL INDIAN PRINCESS

Representing the Piikani Nation, the 2012 Calgary Stampede Centennial Indian Princess is AMELIA CROWSHOE.

Amelia, whose Blackfoot name is Misimmemonisakii (Long Time Otter Woman) is proud to be the 5th generation from her family to participate in the Indian Village at the Calgary Stampede.

A jingle dress dancer, Amelia is a graduate from the University of Calgary with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Culture with aspirations of becoming a lawyer specializing in the needs of the First Nations community in the realm of business and corporate law.

She believes the title of 2012 Centennial Indian Princess affords the opportunity to encourage other young First Nations women to strive for their life goals and maintain their traditions and culture.

“The Indian Village is a real venue of cultural validation and that’s why we want to share it with everyone – we are proud of who we are and we want to share that,” said Crowshoe.

Each year at the annual pageant, the Calgary Stampede Indian Events selects a young woman from one of the five tribes of Treaty 7 (Tsuu T’ina, Piikani, Stoney, Kainai and Siksika Nations) to act as the official representative of the Calgary Stampede and Indian Village presented by Penn West Energy.

As part of the Official Stampede Royalty program the Indian Princess will make over 300 appearances during her reign and will educate those she meets about the rich, colorful First Nations culture. She embraces the legacy of the Stampede Indian Princess title and will wear the crown with honor as she represents the tribes of Treaty 7, the Indian Village and the Calgary Stampede.

For more information, please contact:

Indianprinces@calgarystampede.com

To book an appearance: http://epg.calgarystampede.com/request

Facebook: “Calgary Stampede Indian Princess”
Twitter: “Stampede IP”

What’s Happening at Stampede Park: September 26 – October 2

A packed week here at Stampede Park as the UPROAR Festival, Kings of Leon, as well as NHL and WHL action all hit the Saddledome in the next seven days.  Plus, this week sees the return of both the Body, Soul & Spirit Expo and the Calgary Mens Show.  Finally, Cirque du Soleil – OVO continues this week as well.

Details on all that and more here:

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What’s Happening at Stampede Park: September 19 – 25

The weather may have turned recently, but that just means hockey season is right around the corner!  This week at Stampede Park sees the start of Calgary Flames pre-season action, along with acts such as Pearl Jam, Keith Urban, and the return of the Calgary Home + Design Show.  Plus, Cirque du Soleil – OVO continues this week as well.

Details on that and more here:

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AN AMAZING YEAR!

My reign as 2011 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess has been an unforgettable experience filled with adventure and excitement. The year has definitely had a positive impact on my personal growth and maturity. I am very happy with my contribution towards the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village. I am feeling very complete as my year comes to an end.

Twelve months ago, I was unsure what I was stepping into as Indian Princess but now that the year is over, I have gained a new understanding of my world. The royalty program prepared me with great leadership and public speaking training – I feel confident stepping into the world as a mature young lady.

It was such a wonderful and humbling experience to represent the Indian Village and the First Nation people of the Treaty 7 area. I walk away with great memories that I will hold dear to my heart.

In my year as Indian Princess I wanted to represent the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village with as much pride and enthusiasm as I could create. It was such a great experience as I met many wonderful people, attended world class events and made friendships that will last a lifetime.

I want to send my gratitude to the Calgary Stampede, the Indian Princess Committee and Indian Events Committee, our generous sponsors and most importantly, my family.

To Jenna, Stephanie & Whitney, together we made up the “Fabulous Four.” Thank you, my sisters, for being part of the best year of my life! An incredible year of laughter, adventures and beautiful memories that I will hold in my heart forever.

To the 2012 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess – you have the honor of being the Centennial Indian Princess. Go forth with pride as you carry on such a historic legacy not only for the Indian Princes Program or the Calgary Stampede, but also for First Nations everywhere. Good luck!

Farewell and THANK YOU!

Eva