A tragic incident occurred during the Stoney Nakoda Rodeo in Alberta, resulting in the death of a 19-year-old bull rider named Seth Saulteaux. Saulteaux was a rising star in the Indigenous rodeo circuit and was participating in a four-day rodeo qualifier for the Indian National Finals Rodeo (INFR) in the United States. The fatal accident took place on July 2 at the Chiniki Rodeo Grounds in the Îyârhe (Stoney) Nakoda First Nation.
Lita Krawler, Saulteaux’s older sister, expressed her grief on Facebook, sharing numerous photos of her beloved brother. She described their last moments together, recounting how they laughed and cried, and how he shared his plans and aspirations with her. Krawler fondly remembered Saulteaux as having a big heart, possessing cowboy wisdom, and always reminding her to keep going and chasing their dreams.
The news of Saulteaux’s passing spread quickly throughout the rodeo community, prompting an outpouring of condolences and support. The INFR extended their heartfelt condolences to the Saulteaux family and recognized Seth as a dedicated bull rider and an up-and-coming star in the INFR circuit. They asked for prayers and support for his family and friends during this difficult time.
The Ermineskin Cree Nation in Hobbema, Alberta, also expressed their condolences through a social media post. They conveyed that Saulteaux’s death was a devastating loss for his family, the rodeo community, and all those who loved and supported him. Jenn Crowchild, a relative, emphasized Seth’s family bloodlines, which were deeply rooted in rodeo, hockey, and pow wow traditions across several Indigenous nations.
Seth’s aunt, Marcie Marvel Saulteaux, spoke of the privilege she had in raising him for half of his life. She shared a poignant moment before his death when Seth texted her, asking if she had arrived at the rodeo because he was hungry. Sadly, his “rodeo eats” remained untouched after his passing.
A close friend of Seth, Jacob Todechine, remembered him as someone who always wore a smile. Todechine highlighted Seth’s love for riding and his relentless pursuit of his dreams. Homer Holloway, a member of the Nation’s Canada Day Rodeo Committee, provided more details about the incident. He explained that Seth was hit in the back of the head by the bull’s horn and also suffered a blow to the chest after being thrown off the animal during the competition. Despite wearing a helmet and receiving immediate medical attention, Seth collapsed and could not be revived.
Reg Fountain, the emergency management director for the Stoney Nakoda Nation, confirmed that Seth suffered a traumatic head injury. He also stated that Seth followed all safety protocols, including wearing a helmet. Despite the best efforts of paramedics, Seth’s life could not be saved.
The rodeo community, as well as friends and family, mourned the loss of Seth Saulteaux, an aspiring cowboy with a promising future. His tragic passing serves as a reminder of the risks inherent in rodeo events and the importance of safety precautions. Seth will always be remembered for his passion, his infectious smile, and his unwavering pursuit of his cowboy dreams.