How being Indian Princess changed my life and my words of advice for anyone thinking of applying for 2017 Indian Princess

I am about  to complete my reign as the 2016 Indian Princess–I can’t believe it! If you are a Treaty 7 woman between the ages of 18 and 25, I really encourage you to apply for to be the 2017 Indian Princess. You will have the opportunity of a lifetime to share your culture locally, nationally and internationally. Read more in this interview about the incredible places I got to go and people I got to meet. The Calgary Stampede is now accepting applications and the deadline is Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. Email for an application or visit my Facebook page for more information.

Calgary Stampede: You are about to wrap up your year as Indian Princess– how do you feel?

Vanessa Stiffarm: It’s kind of bittersweet- I’m excited but I’m also sad. It’s been an amazing year – it’s sad knowing that it’s almost over. But I’m excited to see how many girls try out this year and how the program grows for next year.

Vanessa parade day

CS: Can you sum up the year with three words (or phrases)?
VS: Exciting, full of surprises, memorable Continue reading

Calgary Stampede Indian Princess spreads western hospitality in Australia

The Calgary Stampede Indian Princess joined the Calgary Stampede and Travel Alberta for Destination Canada’s 2016 Canada Corroboree in Australian cities Adelaide, Melbourne, Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney. The Corroboree is a major tourism roadshow that informs travel agents, tour operators, wholesalers and media about all the incredible things Canada has to offer. Here are some of Vanessa’s favourite memories from Down Under.


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My Inspiration

Throughout the past month, I’ve travelled and met some wonderful people. I was able to attend Grey Cup in Winnipeg and it’s an experience I will never forget. I rode in my first parade on a horse, brought a little western hospitality to St. Gerard School, and served some delicious pancakes with the Calgary Grey Cup Committee. I also bonded with my Royalty sisters, who are by the way the best AC/DC singers you’ll ever meet. There wasn’t a time where we weren’t all laughing or making everyone around us smile. I had a moment where I was feeling down and they unexpectly came up to me and just gave me a big hug, then made me laugh. They’ve become my family away from home, while I continue this journey as the 2016 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. For that, I’m so thankful – Maggie, Chelsey, and Bailie this is going to be a year we will never forget and I’m happy I get to share it with you lovely ladies.

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2016 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess

Oki, my name is i’kiwayohtowa and means “Heard All Over” which comes from the sound of thunder or you can call me Vanessa Stiffarm and I am the 2016 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess. I come from the Kainai Nation and was raised by my parents, Evelyn Killsback and John Stiffarm, and my grandparents, Roger and Cathy Hunt.



After looking back this past month since I’ve been crowned, it brings an overwhelming sense of joy and happiness. It’s an incredible honor to carry this title and represent not just Kainai but all of Treaty 7, the Indian Village, and the Calgary Stampede. I’ve met a few of the past princess’s and look up to them. The stories they have shared with me about their experience and how holding this title opened doors for all of them. I want to inspire others the way they have inspired me to try my best and educate others about my culture.

Even though a month has gone by, I can still remember that feeling of standing on that stage waiting for my name to be called. When the judges finally called my name to announce I was this year’s Indian Princess, I cried. And I cried more when my grandparents came on stage to sing me an honor song. I cannot thank my family enough for their support and guidance that has led me to this moment. I am truly blessed and humbled to have this opportunity and to share it with everyone I will meet. I want to thank everyone for the kind words, the positive feedback, and for continuing to support me. This is only the beginning and I can’t wait to share my journey as we get closer to the 2016 Calgary Stampede.