Introducing Carly Weaselchild, the 2014 Calgary Stampede Indian Village Princess
Carly Weaselchild from the Siksika Nation was recently crowned the 2014 Calgary Stampde Indian Princess. Her role represents First Nations from Treaty 7; Siksika, Tsuu T’ina, Stoney, Piikani and Kainai Nations, as well as the Indian Village, the Calgary Stampede and the City of Calgary.
Q & A with Carly Weaselchild
Tell us about yourself:
My name is Carly Cheyenne Weasel Child and my Blackfoot name is Papainhkkiakii, meaning Dream Singing Woman. I am 21 years old and from the Siksika Nation. My parents are Eldon and Alvina Weasel Child and my siblings are Charity, Valene, and Eldon Jimmy. I am currently in college part time and I aspire to obtain my degree in communications in hopes to work in the field of journalism or public relations.
What were your first thoughts when you were crowned the 2014 CSIV Princess?
It was an absolute dream come true when I was crowned as the 2014 Calgary Stampede Indian Princess this past October. I immediately felt a great sense of pride that day because this has been a huge goal of mine for a long time. I’m so grateful and thankful to have received this title because I know it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity that I’ll remember for the rest of my life.
As the Calgary Stampede Indian Princess, I serve as an ambassador to represent the five tribes of Treaty 7, the Indian Village, and the Calgary Stampede. Throughout the whole year I will be making numerous appearances to promote my unique First Nations culture. With the Stampede queen and princesses, we also serve as role models for the youth.
How has the experience been so far?
My experience thus far has been amazing. I have learned and experienced so many new things in such a short period of time, and it has already gone by so fast. Everyone has been so kind and welcoming since day one. I have also made many new friends from many different backgrounds. Four months have passed since I received this title and I’ve travelled, volunteered, and met so many amazing people.
How does one prepare for this role?
Of course the prerequisites for this title is that you have to know about your culture, horsemanship, and some history of the Calgary Stampede. After that there’s not too much one can do to prepare for this role. You’re immediately exposed to so many new environments and situations you may have never been in before. You just have to keep a bright smile on your face and be kind, open, respectful, thoughtful, sincere, and knowledgeable about your culture. You really just have to be yourself. When you remain confident in yourself, you just make the experiences more enjoyable.
What do you hope to gain from this experience?
I hope to take in every single opportunity this year has to offer and make the most out of it. I want to grow more positively as a person and to learn as much as I can. I’ve been writing in a journal and I always take a lot of pictures so I want to remember every single moment throughout this year. I want to learn as much as I can about my history, culture, and language so I can carry it on to the youth. I also want to improve with my confidence and public speaking so I think this is the perfect opportunity to work on those.
What are your interests when you are not a princess?
In my free time I love reading, I try to read a book or two a month. I love writing and I always keep a small journal to write in whenever I can. I go to school part time and I’m hoping to go full time in the fall to get my degree in communications. I love spending time with my family because they’ve been absolutely supportive and encouraging throughout my life. I also try to work towards small goals to improve myself. A to-do list, if you will. For example, I want to learn how to make beaded jewelry, learn how to play the guitar, cook more, run more, be healthier, get outdoors more, get into photography, volunteer as much as I can, and become fluent in Blackfoot.
For more information, follow Carly on Facebook
(Photos provided by Carly Weaselchild)