Gordon Crowchild was a well-known leader, a family man, and a respected rodeo pro, reports the Calgary Herald. Crowchild was the chief of the Tsuu T’ina Nation from 1968 to 1976. He walked on January 12 at the age of 85.
“Chief Gordon Crowchild will be remembered for achievements in his many roles that he lived. As a chief, for his frankness in the local, provincial and national political scene and his great love for his community,” said a statement issued by Tsuu T’ina First Nation.
The Herald reports that being a family man—whether that be as a husband, father, grandfather or great-grandfather—was most important to Crowchild. He had eight children, 23 grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.
“He was so proud of every one of his children and grandchildren. He always wanted to make sure we were all looked after,” his daughter Pearl Crowchild told the Herald.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Perry Bellegarde offered the following statement on Crowchild’s passing:
“He was a strong advocate for the rights of First Nations and our citizens throughout his life. He was instrumental in the advancement of the Tsuu T’ina Nation, and he promoted the development of our youth through sports and culture. On behalf of the AFN and our Executive, I offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of Elder and Chief Crowchild. His passing brings us the opportunity to celebrate his life, achievements and contributions. Many of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, will remember our late brother for his skill and accomplishments in the professional rodeo circuit and development of the Indian Rodeo Cowboys Associations. He competed in many events and was recognized by the Canadian Professional Rodeo Hall of Fame by being inducted in 2005 for his contributions to Pro-Rodeo. Gordon Crowchild was a man of many talents and he approached everything he did with a spirit of fearlessness and determination.”
Crowchild competed at the Canadian Professional Rodeo Association and Pro Rodeo Cowboys Association level for a number of years.
“Professional cowboys showed respect to him wherever he went. Those that would come to the Calgary Stampede would always seek him out and share a story or two,” said current Tsuu T’ina Nation Chief Roy Whitney in a statement.
The Tsuu T’ina Nation is planning a state funeral for Crowchild, details are expected in the coming days.