Friendship with First Nations

Recalling my early years in Calgary and going to the Calgary Stampede, the Stoney Indians on their way to participate in the greatest outdoor show in the world would pack up their horse drawn wagons with their tipi poles sticking out behind and the tipi canvas on top. The ladies drove the horse and wagon with the kids sitting on top of the canvas. They stopped for a night at the edge of the city across from our home and set up their teepees. My mom would take pots of soup, usually beef and barley or beef and vegetables to each tipi.

In the morning, they were up early, packed up and moving out. I was 6 years old when I joined the Indian kids on the wagons to go to the grounds. I rode in the parade with them and stayed in which ever tipi had the most kids. We peeled potatoes for the concessions to get burgers and chips. At the end of the Stampede they would drop me off at home. It was a great part of my life.

I am now 76 years young and my name is Stan Cowley, owner of Rafter Six Ranch Resort. This centennial year will be my 72nd consecutive Stampede Parade which I have been in. I am fortunate to have so many great memories of our Native friends, ranchers as well as those great cowboy athletes, the horses and livestock. It is my hopes we will keep these traditions alive for the future generations and all of the world to enjoy.

Thank you Calgary!

Stan Cowley of Rafter Six Ranch Resort