|March 7, 2013
Native games conference gets support from Tribal Council
By Lailani Upham
CSKT Vice Chairman Carole Lankford hooks the loop after a few tries as CSKT Chairman Joe Durglo sees how it’s done. (Lailani Upham photo)
PABLO — The International Traditional Games Society made a visit to the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council on Tuesday to request funding support for the upcoming one-of-a-kind International Conference of Traditional Native Games being hosted at Salish Kootenai College in June.
The goal for the conference is to connect academic traditionalists and Native culture teachers with Native games research with scientists to work together in the field of social intelligence and neurobiology of the brain to address historical trauma.
Arlene Adams, ITGS board member and presenter along with Stacey McQuade, KwaTaqNuk Resort Organizational and Business Development Executive Director accompanied ITGS Executive Director Craig Falcon to back up the unique event.
The conference will also feature guest speakers Oren Lyons, traditional Faithkeeper of the Turtle Clan, and a member of the Onondoga Nation Council of Chiefs of the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy; and Sergio Pellis, a professor at the Canadian Centre for Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, Canada.
Falcon stated in reference to the context of the conference is that future survival of a people depends on the ability to look back at what sustained health and well-being in tribal cultures and to check physical and emotional, social, and spiritual problems exhibited by today’s society and to change and adapt to future survival.
A very proud CSKT Arlee Representative Terry Pitts stops to pose and smile over his accomplishment of the hand and eye coordination task. (Lailani Upham photo)
“Many CSKT members have been involved in the recovery of those games. Our small Native American non-profit grew out of the interest of many of your tribal members. They are enthusiastically working as volunteers to market, plan and host this convention.
Adams has been involved in traditional games since a youngster and stated her ya-ya had taught her much of what she knows now.
For 35 years Adams has researched, practiced and implemented indigenous games in all avenues of cultural education on and off the Flathead Reservation.
The International Conference of Traditional Native Games is scheduled for June 26 – 28 and will be hosted by Salish Kootenai College, Two Eagle River School, and the People’s Center.
ITGS requested funding to help with hotel stay for speakers, two evening meals at KwaTaqNuk, lunch at SKC, transportation for elders and a center on-site for elders.
McQuade stated the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino are supporting the event and allotting 80 rooms at a discount for presenters and participants.
CSKT Chairman Joe Durglo agreed with several other members on the support for the event, however the assistance will be determined after Budget Committee review.
Craig Falcon, International Traditional Games Society Executive Director monitors the CSKT Tribal Council members with the stick and hoop activity while Traditional Games Society Board Member and ITGS presenter/instructor Arlene Adams readies up a willow into another stick and ring set. (Lailani Upham photo)
CSKT Polson Representative Steve Lozar stated he was in support of it and suggested that other tribal enterprises be looked at for source help. “I think this is a great project to put money toward.”
“I think this is very important to us and the people of the past to sponsor these things and bring it back again,” CSKT Representative Lloyd Irvine stated.
The ITGS, a non-profit organization, was founded in 1997 by tribal college presidents housed on the Blackfeet Reservation and in Alberta, Canada, and works to research, restore and re-introduce Native American games.
For more information and to download registration forms, visit www.traditionalnativegames.org or call Craig Falcon at (406) 226-9141.