Dadanast’ ada everyone!

First I would like to start off by introducing myself. My name is Amber Big Plume, I am nineteen years old and I am from the Tsuu T’ina Nation. I’m a second year Law and Society student at the University of Calgary. I enjoy singing and playing the guitar.

It’s every little girls dream to grow up to become a princess, and I wasn’t an exception. I grew up around the Calgary Stampede and the Indian Village ever since I was a little girl. In 1999, When I was seven years old, my Godmother, Camille Wildman-Whitney was the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and I always looked up to her and aspired to be like her one day. I’m the oldest of five children so I’ve always tried my best to be a role model for my younger siblings. These were just a few of my motivations to try out for this role.

Ever since the day of crowning, a smile has not left my face. My chaperones, the  sponsors, and everyone I have met have been nothing but welcoming and supportive. Like were one big stampede family. I want to give a HUGE thank you to the sponsors who have helped me so far this year!

Alberta Boot started my year off with a pair of cowboy boots. Janine’s Custom Creations for the start of such a beautiful wardrobe.  She designed me a one-of-a-kind Pendleton suit to honor our new sponsor Pendleton Woolen Mills and it has received such wonderful feedback! I’m so honored to have the first design. I would also like to thank Lammles and Wrangler for my new jeans and belts and Montana Silversmith for my beautiful jewellery!   I look forward to meeting and working with my other sponsors as my year progresses.

I have already completed three official events to date: Alderman Peter Demong’s Ward 14 BBQ, Happy Trails, and PCA saddle draw. They were all so much fun and I’ve met so many wonderful people!! Interviews with local newspapers, radio stations and sponsor visits have also been a highlight of the first week and a half of my reign

I’m excited to know who my stampede sisters will be as the final 6 in the Q and P competition wraps up with the crowning happening on Sunday. All of the contestants seem lovely and I wish them all the best of luck!

I am so excited and honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess and I’m looking forward to this upcoming year!!!

Until next time,

CSIP Amber

Former Stampede Chucks Announcer Honoured on Walk of Fame

If there’s one voice that Calgarians know, it’s that of Joe Carbury.  Not only is he one of the most recognized sports voices in western Canada for hockey, football, and wrestling, he spent 45 years calling the chuckwagon races at the Calgary Stampede until his retirement in 2008.

Joe called races the old school way – just Joe, his binoculars, and a microphone – no instant replays or helpers, and when his enthusiastic voice would yell, “And they’re off!!!” the crowd would go wild.

The local legend was inducted into the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame in 2003, and was most recently honoured with his likeness on a “grate portrait” on the Stephen Avenue Walk of Fame, painted by local artist Mandy Stobo.

I had the pleasure of escorting Mr. Carbury to his grate during the special signing event on September 20th and was able to chat briefly with him about his involvement with the Stampede.

When I asked if he was surprised when he found out he was being included on the Stephen Avenue Walk of Fame, his response was an excited, “Oh yes!  And very honoured.”

The emcee of the event, the always entertaining Dave Kelly (former co-host of Citytv Calgary’s Breakfast Television, and fellow Walk of Fame honouree), joked that the cotton candy being served there was Joe Carbury’s secret recipe and that he puts it on his toast in the morning. “Carbury Candy” got a good chuckle from the crowd, especially Joe.

Joe noted that one of his most memorable moments at the Stampede was his last night announcing.  They figured that by the time he retired he had called over 5,000 races.  He said that he got pretty choked up calling out “And they’re off!” for the very last time.

That night they brought Joe and his family on stage where he received a standing ovation from the crowd of over 20,000 people.

“I was very honoured, but also very nervous,” he said, pointing out that he was used to a very different view and experience of the crowd from his “eye in the sky.”

Joe was able to make it down to the Centennial Stampede celebrations 4 times this year.

“It was really something special!  The rodeo was spectaculor. Congratulations to the whole Stampede Board on an amazing event!”

He really loved to go down to the barns and hang out with the chuckwagon racers and their families.

“Those are my kind of people.”

Carbury’s grate portrait is located in the “Pop Culture & Entertainment” section of the Walk of Fame on Stephen Avenue Walk between 1 St SW and 2 St SW near Lammle’s Western Wear & Tack.

Another amazing supporter of the Stampede (and the city), Bill Siebens, was also honoured with a “grate portrait.” Siebens, a local philanthropist, rancher and businessman, generously gifted the Calgary Stampede Foundation with the almost 8,000-acre southern portion of the historic OH Ranch.


From the Tsuu T’ina Nation of Southern Alberta, the 2013 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess is AMBER BIG PLUME.

Amber’s family has been participating in Indian Village for the past 36 years.  She was taught to embrace her cultural traditions and the importance of passing this knowledge onto future generations

A fancy shawl dancer, Amber is currently attending the University Of Calgary Faculty Of Arts – in the Law and Society program with plans to specialize in corporate law for First Nations Communities.

As the 2013 Indian Princess, Amber accepts this blessing as an opportunity to reinforce and celebrate the 100-year partnership established between the First Nations tribes of Treaty 7 and the Calgary Stampede.

“I’m so excited to have the opportunity to serve as the 2013 Indian Princess.  It is now up to my generation to ensure celebration of cultural sharing continues.  To remember where we have gone and to see where we are going.   To honor the vision of Guy Weadick and our Elders as we move into the next 100 years of the Calgary Stampede and Indian Village.”

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 stand as the official representative of Indian Village presented by Penn West Exploration the Calgary Stampede.

As an official Calgary Stampede ambassador, the Indian Princess will make over 350 appearances and will educate those she meets about the rich and colorful First Nations culture. Amber is thrilled for the opportunity to reign as Indian Princess and looks forward to a rewarding and exciting year.

For more information on Indian Village visit

To book an appearance:

Facebook:  “Calgary Stampede Indian Princess”   

Twitter:  “StampedeIP

And the winner of the CCMA for 2012 is…

Canadian Country Music Week is always an absolute honour to attend, and 2012 was certainly no different!  It is an awesome chance to catch up with our industry friends and partners, recap the year we have had, and work on new and exciting ideas! It’s also an incredible opportunity to hear brand new music and see the best in Canadian country music talent.

We were also lucky this year to come home with two exciting awards.


 On Friday morning at the Industry Brunch, the Calgary Stampede was awarded with “Country Festival, Fair or Exhibition of the Year”. 

 I was very nervous to make my acceptance speech…but I think I pulled it off okay! After 2 days off meetings and music, we attended the Gala Awards on Saturday night. 

Programming Manager, Roderick Tate, and I were awarded the “Ron Sakamoto Talent Buyer or Promoter of the Year” award.  This was a huge thrill as we have never had the honour of accepting this award before! 

Roderick Tate and I after accepting.

We were very very excited to share this award with Ed Harris, Entertainment Consultant, and Dan Finely, COO of Stampede Entertainment. It was a very happy, exciting, and surreal moment for the Calgary Stampede!

To round the weekend out, we attended the broadcast taping of the Canadian Country Music Awards on CBC. These shows are always a blast! This year, there were even a few country greats from across the border performing, including Eric Church, Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, and Pistol Annies.  There were some incredible Canadian performances by Dean Brody, Johnny Reid, Chad Brownlee, Terri Clark, and the list goes on!  Taylor Swift was there to present and accept an award.

All in all, it was an incredible week for Canadian Country music, and of course, the Calgary Stampede!

Just Another Day at the Office

As things are slowly wrapping up for us this year, I’m finally starting to realize that it is actually ending soon!! I can’t believe the things that we have accomplished, the people we have met, and the places we had the opportunity to visit!

Last week we had a chance to be interviewed on Breakfast Television, and as we walked in they asked us if we know who Ryan Cochrane was. Right away I reminisce being up bright and early to watch his 1500m swim and being so excited that he won a silver medal at this year’s Summer Olympics! So as we come around the corner there he is, medal in the back pocket having a water.

I tried to not stumble over my words while talking to him and asking him about London and training, but I couldn’t get over the fact that someone I followed all year while he got ready was just hanging out with us till it was his turn to be interviewed. Just talking to someone with that much drive and determination gave me another “ah-ha” moment as to what Jessica, Dani and I accomplished this year.

The only way to get stronger is to learn how to suffer through tough times and let the good times roll. To the girls trying out this year I want you to know that sometimes it’s going to be tough not seeing your family and friends as much, but at the end of the day you get to be the person that inspires others to chase their dreams.

Good luck to all the girls we have trying out this year, and thank you Ryan for being an inspiration to me and… letting me hold the medal!! Ah.. Just another day in the office.