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Stampede names Siksika dancer Katari Right Hand as marshal of virtual parade

Last Updated Jun 9, 2021 at 9:57 am MDT

Katari Right Hand (Nààpiwa otó piim Akikowan) of the Siksika First Nation, who is also featured on the 2021 poster, will lead the Stampede Parade this year. (CREDIT: Calgary Stampede)

CALGARY – The Calgary Stampede has named its parade marshal for 2021–and you might recognize her from this year’s stampede poster.

Siksika First Nation Fancy Dancer Katari Right Hand–whose Blackfoot name is Nààpiwa otó piim Akikowan–will lead the parade this year.

Right Hand, 17, has been dancing at the Stampede in her signature rainbow-ribboned regalia since she was a child.

“I am very proud and excited to be the 2021 Stampede Parade Marshal, so I can represent Niitsitapiiks,” she said in a release.

The decision to name Right Hand as marshal came after the board of directors selected the poster–they were curious about the girl in the picture.

“I was inspired by the image [Lexi Hilderman] submitted and wanted to learn more about the remarkable young woman featured. Katari Right Hand’s name Rainbow Girl is a reminder that we are coming out of a storm together and that as the clouds move behind us, the sun will shine again,” said President and Chairman of the Calgary Stampede Board of Directors Steve McDonough.

Poster artist Hilderman, 22, will also be taking part in the parade

The parade Right Hand will be leading this year will look a little different from parades of Stampede past.

The organization says it will be taking a new route and will be shared with revelers virtually.

“Among many safety enhancements for Stampede 2021, the parade will travel through Stampede Park prior to public opening on the morning of Friday, July 9, and will feature many of the things you know and love, including floats, marching bands and many mounted riders,” the Stampede explained in a release.

The 2020 parade marshal, Filipe Masetti Leite will be back for the parade this year, after a long journey across the Americas on horseback.