The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary is located on a beautiful acreage that is nestled at the edge of the Qu'Appelle Valley foothills which runs from west to east across southern Saskatchewan. The sanctuary is honoured to neighbour Piapot First Nations reserve, which has a vibrant Cree culture. The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary has dedicated its pasture space and facilities exclusively to the conservation of the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony!
The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary and all its conservation efforts are operated by Dr. Angela Snowshoe, her fiancé, Mr. Cullan McGinnis, and her father, Mr. Kim Shoemaker.
Dr. Angela Snowshoe, CEO/Founder and Director of The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary, is a Professor and Indigenous Health Researcher at the University of Regina and proud member of Métis Nation (Loon Clan) from Northwestern Ontario. She completed her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Western Ontario. Angela's strong orientation to cultural-preservation initiatives and social justice issues is evident in her work as a professor, clinician, and researcher. Her personal interest in conserving the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed fits particularly well with her research on the role of cultural connectedness for the well-being of First Nations youth, their families, and their communities.
Mr. Cullan McGinnis is Ojibwe (Bear Clan) from Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation in Northwestern Ontario and serves as the co-owner, Director, and Financial Analyst of The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary. Cullan developed a special bond with Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies approximately three years ago when he was educated on their significance to First Nations culture and their fight against extinction. With his formal training in healthcare from Sasaktchewan Polytechnic, Cullan takes the lead in the physical wellbeing of the sanctuary ponies.
Mr. Kim Shoemaker is an Indigenous ally from Fort Frances, Ontario and is a Director of The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary. Kim played an instrumental role in bringing the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed back to Canada in 2004 (first herd from Bob Walker in Minnesota) and 2006 (second herd from Lloyd Hass in Minnesota). Kim currently co-owns the one of largest herd of Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies in the world. Kim has an ideal blend of historical knowledge and networking abilities to build a sustainable future for the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed.
Elder Noel Starblanket was born on the Star Blanket Reserve on September 27, 1946. He grew up learning the spiritual traditions of his paternal grandparents. He is descended from the great Cree Treaty Chief White Buffalo, signator to Treaty Four, as well as Little Black Bear. In the last three decades, he has returned to his Cree language and spiritual ceremonies. Along with that went his promise for healing, his own person as well as working to help other Residential School survivors. He continues that work today with The Office of the Treaty Commissioner, University of Regina, First Nations University of Canada, Regina Public School Board and serves on various Committees for the Star Blanket Cree Nation. He works with his horses in ceremony and healing and has developed a special connection to the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony. Noel serves as a guiding Elder for the spiritual activities and decisions of The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary.
The Red Pony Stands® Ojibwe Horse Sanctuary is a not-for-profit organization aimed educating, preserving, and promoting the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony and the cultural significance of the breed for First Nations and Canadian peoples.
More specifically,The Red Pony Stands® Preservation Project activities aim to protect, preserve, and promote the critically endangered Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breed. Our new partnerships with another not-for-profit corporation has allowed us to carefully select Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony breeding pairs based on breed lineage, as many of these ponies are closely related to due their low numbers. Our Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony-specific sanctuary provides a safe and nurturing environment for new foals to be born.
By raising awareness about this critically endangered breed of horse, we can work better together to develop and implement a sustainable conservation strategy that will ensure the survival of the Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies for generations to come!
For many First Nations peoples across Canada, names are particularly important because they signify the reclaiming of culture.
The name, The Red Pony Stands® (misko ningodoozhens niibawi in Ojibwe and mekwa misatchimoos neepawa in Cree) represents the resilience that the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony has displayed in the face of significant adversity and risk of extinction. Although Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies come in a number of colour variations, the colour red is commonly associated with First Nations peoples on the medicine wheel. Because the Lac La Croix Indigenous Ponies have historical and cultural significance for many First Nations peoples in Canada, The Red Pony Stands® was chosen to capture the principles of renaming, reframing, and reclaiming of what is sacred in First Nations ways of life.
The Red Pony Stands® name (with his permission) is humbly credited to a story shared on Native Report (2013) by Donald Chosa Jr., Cultural Coordinator from Bois Forte Band of Chippewa. Donald spoke about his nephew and his special relationship with a "red pony." We wanted to honour the story in this way!
Watch the full story here:
The Red Pony Stands® has been reserved for use as a corporation name pursuant to the Canada Not-for-profit Corporations Act (NFP Act). Click HERE to view the certificate of incorporation.
The Red Pony Stands® logo also has layers of symbolism that collectively represents the resilience that the breed has demonstrated in the face of adversity. The logo was inspired by a mural at the University of Regina by Cliff Dubois, renown artist from Pasqua First Nation. The four horses symbolize the four foundation mares, the "faded" colouring represents the breed's fight against extinction, and the circle represents their First Nations cultural origins.
The Red Pony Stands® OjibwE Horse Sanctuary
Check out our Resources page, and you’ll understand why the Lac La Croix Indigenous Pony is important to Canadian society and First Nations culture. We feel that everyone must play a role in spreading the word about the need to protect this critically endangered breed of horse. Start the conversation on social media by using the "share" buttons at the left side of this desktop page or by sharing on your mobile device!