Canadian Badlands, Alberta – February is Black History Month. John Ware, Alberta’s first black cowboy, will be recognized on a new Canadian stamp. The stamp is one of two that Canada Post will release on February 1st in honour of Black History month. John Ware defied stereotypes and rose to folk hero status in Alberta. He eventually ranched near what is now Dinosaur Provincial Park, a World UNESCO Heritage Site in the Canadian Badlands of southeastern Alberta. His cabin was relocated to the park, which is famous for its dinosaur fossils. The cabin was restored and reopened to visitors in 2001.
John Ware’s story is a remarkable one. He was born into slavery in South Carolina. Following the Civil War, he traveled to Texas where he became a skilled cowboy and worked with the great cattle drives on the Chisholm and Oregon Trails. On one of these cattle drives, John Ware ended up at Bar U Ranch, noted in Canada’s ranching history and now a national historic site. Ware’s extraordinary strength combined with his livestock skills earned him the respect of fellow cowboys and early pioneers and in time, he became Alberta’s most famous cowboy. Eventually, John Ware married and moved his family and three hundred head of cattle to the Duchess area near Dinosaur Park. Ironically, John Ware was killed when his horse fell into a badger hole just days after Alberta became a province. His funeral was one of the largest ever attended in Calgary.
Besides the John Ware Cabin, a local coulee, creek, and a 4H club bearing John Ware’s name, you’ll find Ware memorabilia in nearby Brooks’ District Museum. Calgary’s Glenbow Museum has his saddle and spurs. There is a Calgary school and college named after him and a cemetery overlooking the Calgary Stampede grounds is his final resting place.
More information on John Ware, Dinosaur Park and on the Canadian Badlands is available at www.CanadaBadlands.com
The Canadian Badlands tourism region encompasses 90,000 square kilometres of southeastern Alberta. More events, tour routes, places to stay, and a blog with all the latest news are found at www.canadianbadlands.com email firstname.lastname@example.org