The Calgary Stampede is pleased to introduce Savanna Sparvier as the 2017 Indian Princess. Savanna is 19 years old and from the Siksika First Nation. Her Blackfoot name is “All Around Snake Woman” which is a third-generation name passed down to her from her Grandmother, who she is named after.
Savanna is a ladies traditional dancer is working towards her goal of becoming a teacher in both the English and Drama departments. Her parents are Sandra Sparvier and Mario Girolami, both from Siksika First Nation. Savanna is a direct descendant of the last traditional Chief of Siksika (Duck Chief).
She is committed to representing the five tribes of Treaty 7, Calgary Stampede and Indian Village and looks forward to being a positive role model to the younger generation of First Nations youth.
How would your friends describe you in two sentences or less?
My friends have always said I have a great sense of humour. I love to laugh and getting people to smile in any situation!
Can you share a Stampede memory with us?
When I was 12 years old, I was the Miss Kookona (Little Girl) Princess. I was in the Indian Village watching the Grand Entry Pow Wow where I saw 2009 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, Nikkole Heavy Shields. She was glowing with stamina, grace and her overall smile inspired me and made a very big impact on me at that moment. I have looked up to Nikkole ever since that day.
Why did you want to be Indian Princess?
I wanted to run for 2017 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess for my two nieces, Charlie and Diana. It was about a year ago when my sister mentioned a story that my two nieces were debating who was more like me–I never really knew the impact that I could have on someone’s life until I heard about that story. These two, bright, beautiful girls thought of me as their role model and it inspired me to become that hero that my nieces saw me as. I also wanted to encourage others to not be afraid to try new things–courage and kindness are two things I am very passionate about.
What are you most excited about for the upcoming year as Stampede Indian Princess?
I am most excited about travelling to different schools and sharing my stories and experiences. My dream is to become a teacher in both English and Drama. I have always been drawn to the education system, particularly the education system within the Treaty Nations–I want to be able to encourage the youth in these programs not to be afraid, too shy or worried about what others think and just to go out and have the courage to do what you love.