The one thing that I was most excited about after being crowned was how I wanted the parade outfit to look and the overall message I wanted it to spread. My family’s tipi was one of the very first tipi’s in the Indian Village, it belonged to my great-great grandfather, the last traditional chief of Siksika (John Duck Chief).
The tipi was eventually passed on to my grandmothers parents Rosario and Emily Duck Chief , who then took over their spot at the Stampede Indian Village in the early 1930s.
In the Blackfoot culture woman have always held a great amount of power as it was her job to set up and take down the tipi as well as cook and watch over the camp. My great grandmother Emily Duck Chief was nothing short of a perfect example of a truly humble Blackfoot woman, which meant that she made sure her children and grandchildren knew how everything was supposed to be set up ( a task my mom is forever grateful she was taught). Emily duck chief has always been an epitome of female strength in my family, which is why my wish was that my parade outfit would be a mirror of my great grandmother’s dress.
The outfit is the perfect mix of Treaty 7 representation, family tradition, and female strength!
The top of the dress is a replication of my great grandmother’s dress with five tipis on it to represent the five nations of Treaty 7. there are numerous maple leaves all over the dress as a Canada 150 representation. At the bottom of the dress there are two red stripes with a yellow stripe between it, as well as two blue badgers that go along with blue and red circles; these are all to represent my family tipi.
As stampede inches closer I cant help but get excited! soon I will follow in not only the footsteps of my ancestors, but also in the footsteps of my fellow alumni sisters. 2017 Calgary Stampede is going to be one for the books!