Skip to content

Steele's Scouts bring Alberta history to the Foothills

The cavalry troop is made up of horse-and-history lovers, many of them from the Foothills area, who aim to bring history to life

A cavalry troop that’s familiar in the Foothills is ready to make history come alive for another parade season. 

Travelling to events throughout Alberta, Steele’s Scouts Commemorative Militia Cavalry has members from across Alberta, including Millarville, High River, Foothills County, and as far away as Lacombe, said Cpl. Liz Cormack-Stout.

“We’re all horse lovers,” Cormack-Stout said. “The other thing is, we’re all history lovers.” 

The troop appears annually in High River’s Little Britches Parade and the Diamond Valley Parade, and at other events, including the Calgary Stampede Parade.

Although the troop has cut back on the number of parades it rides in due to a busy schedule of events, its season always starts in High River, where the Little Britches Parade will celebrate its 65th anniversary when it winds through town on May 18. 

The group has ridden in High River's parade for around 40 years, Cormack-Stout said.

To get any dust off before event season, three or four practice sessions are held every April, using drills based on British military traditions, she said. 

“Once we get those under their belts, then (the horses are) set for the summer,” she said. 

Billed as “riders of Alberta’s proud past,” the Scouts are known for their fringed buckskin jackets and lever-action rifles. 

The group commemorates Samuel Steele and the cavalry he established in 1885 as an inspector in the Northwest Mounted Police. 

The original Steele’s Scouts consisted of Alberta ranchers, cowboys and Mounties, and Cormack-Stout said today’s scouts try to stay as authentic as possible to the frontier dress and military traditions of the day. 

“Alberta has a wonderful history,” she said. “Our mandate is to keep it alive.” 

The modern Steele’s Scouts formed in 1977, and its ranks swelled to around 100 men. However, numbers dwindled and today there are about 20 riding members. 

Cormack-Stout was the first female member when she joined in 2016. 

Her husband, Grant Stout, joined in 1999 and wears the rank of major. 

Stout figures he’s been in over 500 parades and has travelled far and wide with the troop.

“Once the summer starts, we're almost booked every weekend,” he said.  

The group welcomed four new members this year, and is always looking for new people, he said. 

Robert Korotyszyn

About the Author: Robert Korotyszyn

Robert Korotyszyn covers Okotoks and Foothills County news for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks