The Calgary Stampede’s main entrance will now serve as a reminder of the Treaty 7 First Nations contribution to the 100-year-old event, following the unveiling of a new sculpture over the gateway.
Shaped like half teepee, the new entrance near the Victoria/Stampede LRT station has five panels, each with a symbol representing the Treaty 7 tribes — Siksika, Tsuu T’ina, Kainai, Piikani and Stoney Nakoda.
Marked with a traditional blessing Wednesday, representatives from the Siksika and Piikani Nations said the new entrance celebrates the long-standing relationship between the Calgary Stampede and the Treaty 7 First Nations.
“Those are all symbols that originated around 1912 when they first met the natives,” said Kelly Good Eagle of Sikskia Nation.
Good Eagle said without the founder of the Calgary Stampede Guy Weadick fighting for native peoples to included, Wednesday’s celebration of the new entrance wouldn’t have happened.
President and chairman for the Stampede Mike Casey agreed.
“In 1912, the two things that started the Calgary Stampede were the First Nations and Guy Weadick with the rodeo,” said Casey.
“It really does signify what started the Calgary Stampede and what’s kept it going and growing over the last number of years.”