Calgary Stampede First Nations Princess says she’ll use her role to tell Blackfoot stories

Sikapinakii Low Horn, 27, says her new role as First Nations Princess for the Calgary Stampede will give her an opportunity to tell her family’s story.

“I feel like there’s not a lot of opportunities for Indigenous people, especially in a city like Calgary. There definitely needs to be a lot more opportunities like this for Indigenous women and Indigenous youth,” she said.

The traditional dancer from Siksika Nation outside Calgary was crowned the 2022 First Nations Princess on April 10.

She has since met with APTN News for a sit-down interview at the stampede headquarters in Calgary.

“When my name was called, I was very shocked,” she said. “I saw all these wonderful women be the princess and being able to represent my family is what kind of attracted me to apply for the role.”

The title makes Low Horn an ambassador for the stampede, specifically for the teepee village that has been occupied by Treaty 7 Nations for generations.

Her adopted grandparents have had a teepee at the event her entire life.

“Being the First Nations princess, it’s an opportunity to share even more information and my culture, my ways, family stories,” she said.

To become the First Nations Princess, public speaking and cultural knowledge are needed. Low Horn is a natural storyteller with knowledge on stampede history.

She is currently attending the University of Calgary as a fine arts graduate student, she wrote her thesis on Blackfoot cowboys and their involvement in what is called the greatest show on earth.

Low Horn said stampede founder Guy Weadick advocated for First Nations in Treaty 7 to be included.

“He really went out of his way to write letters to the government, talk to Indian agents. He really allowed us to leave the reserve and come into the city and participate.”

From the Teepee Village to the rodeo, Treaty 7 now plays a major role in the Calgary Stampede.

Leading up to the opening parade in July, Low Horn will attend events throughout the city along with Princess Jenna Peters.

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