Calgary Stampede's Indian Village renamed Elbow River Camp

The Calgary Stampede's Indian Village has been renamed Elbow River Camp, the organization announced Sunday.

The name held since 1912 is 'no longer accepted by some people,' teepee owner says

The Indian Village at Enmax Park made its debut at the 2016 Calgary Stampede. It will now be called the Elbow River Camp. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The Calgary Stampede's Indian Village has been renamed Elbow River Camp, the organization announced Sunday.

Last week, Stampede officials had said a name change for 2019 would be announced soon but at the press conference for the event's last day on Sunday, they instead said the name change would happen immediately. 

"The name Indian Village is no longer accepted by some people, so it is time for a change," village teepee owner representative Michael Meguinis said in a statement issued by the Calgary Stampede.

He said the name held historical significance for him, so it hasn't personally bothered him.

The name change will take place Sunday afternoon at the camp's closing ceremony.

The elbow

Since the Stampede started in 1912, Indian Village has had a key role in the festivities. Today, the site at Enmax Park features 26 teepees and offers cultural programming during the 10-day event.

The new name reflects that location on the edge of the Elbow River.

In three local Indigenous languages Dene, Stoney and Blackfoot, the word for Calgary refers to the river's bend — the elbow.

Lowa Beebe, the chair of the Stampede's Indian events committee, said the teepee owners had previously wanted to keep the old name for "historical reasons." But because they've been in the new location at Enmax Park for a couple years now, they thought it would be time for a new one.

She said Stampede organizers were not pushing the teepee owners to change the name.

Kelly Good Eagle is the owner of teepee No. 8 at the Calgary Stampede's Indian Village, which will now be called Elbow River Camp. (Evelyne Asselin/CBC)

The statement from the Stampede echoed that sentiment. CEO Warren Connell said the new name came from teepee owners from the various Treaty 7 nations, including Kainai, Tsuut'ina, Stoney Nakoda, Siksika and Piikani.

As the Stampede comes to a close, organizers are projecting possibly the best turn-out yet.

Calgary saw excellent weather this year, except for a sudden, short-lived windstorm Friday night that prompted rides and the Indian Village to close for a short time.

With files from Anis Heydari.