Canadian Geographic
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Calgary Stampede, The

Indian village

The Indian Village has been a part of the Calgary Stampede since 1912. The venue, located in a park setting within Stampede Park, quickly became a crowd favourite and is a fundamental feature of the Stampede today. It serves to honour, preserve and display the culture and history of the five tribes of Treaty 7 First Nations: the Siksika, Tsuu T'ina, Stoney/Nakoda, Piikani and Kainai.

In 1912, 1,800 First Nations led the opening parade through the streets of Calgary showing off their vibrant regalia and rich culture. Though Stampede founder Guy Weadick encountered some resistance by government officials to having First Nations participate, he used his political connections to ensure they had a prominent place in the festival from the beginning. Since then, Indian Village has been a venue where Treaty 7 First Nations’ members set up traditional tipis and share their culture with visitors. Some tipis have remained in families for generations, standing tall in Indian Village since 1912.

First Nations members have also been fierce competitors in the Stampede rodeo. Perhaps one of the most renowned First Nations competitors was Tom Three Persons, a Kainai cowboy, who become the only aboriginal and only Canadian champion at the 1912 Stampede, winning the Saddle Bronc event. Other members have also taken part in ‘Indian’ events and races.

Today, guests at the Indian Village can enjoy demonstrations of First Nations traditions and forms of entertainment such as dance, arts and crafts, cultural cuisine, traditional games, hunting and meat-cutting skills and even tipi raising competitions.

Every year, the Calgary Stampede Indian Events committee selects a Stampede Indian Princess from one of the Treaty 7 Nations. The Indian Princess is chosen through a pageant process that tests skills in public speaking, traditional native dance, cultural knowledge and horsemanship. The chosen princess is the official representative of the Indian Village and the Stampede throughout the year. She has the honour of being host to the global audience and is a role model to youth from the First Nations community.


This video piece discusses the Treaty 7 First Nations culture displayed annually at the Calgary Stampede through a dedicated venue and events.


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Stampede in the city

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Quiz :

How long is the Calgary Stampede?

14 days
1 month
10 days