Next up in the “10 Questions With” feature series is a very special guest- our 2012 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess: Amelia Crowshoe. Amelia serves as a wonderful advocate for Calgary, the Stampede, and her fellow Treaty 7 tribes. She is passionate about her culture, education, and pursuing ones dreams. As a Communications graduate from the University of Calgary, Amelia is an eloquent speaker- so I’m going to split the interview into two separate blogs. Be sure to check back in tomorrow to see part two!
1. Congratulations on your 2012 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess selection! Tell us a bit about the competition and what lead you to this point.
The competition was an incredible and exciting experience that combines aspects of public speaking, interview, impromptu speaking, and riding competitions with an important aspect of First Nation culture, which is the traditional dance competition. I am a jingle dress dancer and have danced all of my life and it is a large part of First Nation culture and traditions. To have it as part of the Indian Princess Competition sets our pageant quite apart from other pageants.
I truly saw the opportunity of being the Centennial Indian Princess one that I just couldn’t let pass. I always wanted to be Indian Princess and I’m obviously so glad I entered!
2. Were you nervous at any point during the competition, knowing the Princess selected would be representing Calgary for the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede?
I was nervous. Any of the contestants had all the qualities and attributes that could have awarded them the crown and title. That combined with family and friends there to cheer you on, you don’t want to disappoint and you don’t want to let this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity pass. Despite having a degree in Communications from the University of Calgary, I found the impromptu section the most nerve-wracking. You have no idea what questions you could be asked and need to respond immediately with calmness and confidence. Once that part was over, the dance competition offered a chance to release some nervous energy, so I relaxed then!
3. The Indian Princess is rich in tradition thru the history of the Calgary Stampede. How must it feel to be apart of this history now?
Being is Centennial Indian Princess is an incredible blessing as we are not only celebrating one hundred years of Stampede history, but the First Nations people have been with the Stampede since day one – so we celebrate our own Centennial year. To wear the crown on such an historical year for two important occasions – well, there are no words.
The Centennial Royalty will always be extra-special. To forever look at my crown and see the Centennial logo, and knowing that logo will never be used again after this year is something that fifty years from now, I can look back on with as much pride then as I have now.
4. Speaking of tradition and history, in doing my research for your interview, I came across a great website: www.indianvillage.ca which provides lots of wonderful information on the Indian Village, presented by Penn West Exploration, the tribes who participate in sharing their past, present and future. Can you explain a bit about what your involvement in the Village has been?
I am a fifth generation participant in Indian Village. I literally grew up there in the village. I participated in the pow wows and I slept in our family tipi during the annual 10-days of Stampede. I saw and admired each Stampede Indian Princess and the important role they play in standing as an Ambassador for the five tribes of Treaty 7, the Calgary Stampede, and really, First Nations everywhere.
5. How many public appearances will you plan to attend during the year, and more specifically…how many during the 10-day Calgary Stampede? You must have a very organized calendar to keep track of everything!
I am on track to complete between 300-350 appearances during my year locally, nationally and internationally. The ten days of Stampede is obviously our busiest time with anywhere from fifteen to twenty events a day. Our day will start around 6am and end any time after 9pm.
I have an incredible Committee of passionate and enthusiastic volunteers who organize my schedule, wardrobe and every other aspect of the Indian Princess Program. These women do not get enough appreciation for all they do and for the opportunities that each Indian Princess gets to enjoy and experience.
Make sure you come back tomorrow to check out part two of Amelia’s interview. There is so much more to discover about this incredible Princess!
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