Travel: Chicken dance championship in Alberta
"Leonard Scalplock is hurtling in a repurposed golf cart along a winding trail towards Chief Crowfoot's grave, dust pluming behind as he careens over the rollercoaster green hills of the Siksika Nation.

I am coated in dust and loving every minute of this very personal tour from my very spontaneous Indian guide.

Scalplock points out a nose-shaped ridge: “My brothers and I ran like deer through here. We also played cowboys and Indians.

Everyone always wanted to be cowboys, because in the movies, the Indians lost.” The burly young man in black jeans and a backwards baseball hat chuckles.

Hundreds of tipis would have filled the valley below us, in what is now Alberta, when the six tribes of the Blackfoot Confederacy met in 1877 under threat from European settlement.

Fight or sign a treaty? All eyes were on Chief Crowfoot, who sat alone on the hill in his tipi for four days, fasting and smoking his pipe, before deciding to sign. The other tribes followed.

If they didn't exactly win under the deal, locals here are quick to point out Blackfoot Indians are among the few North American tribal groups that didn't “lose” – “unlike that Geronimo", they scoff."

Get the Story:
Kristy Needham: Alberta hosts the World Chicken Dance Championships (Stuff.co.nz 8/25)

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