Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Traditional Native Games Certification Clinic set for April 25 - 27

ALM — The International Traditional Games Society (ITGS) will lead a 3-day certification clinic at the First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park, just south of Great Falls. With three levels of training, the clinic will accommodate individuals new to traditional games or returning students desiring to expand their knowledge.

With a mission to recover and restore native games, ITGS has discovered a window to the past charged with relevancy for today’s modern youth and a beautiful medium in which Native American adults, youth, and elders can restore cultural identity. Promoting mental, physical, social, and spiritual health, the games offer far more than comradery and competition; they also teach survival skills and encourage unity in the clan, family, band, and tribe.

“These clinics are for anyone who works with people,” says Executive Director Craig Falcon. “Elders and youth used to play together. That’s why our communities were so tightly knit.”

In this clinic, Level I students will learn games of intuition and physical skill, including the historical significance of the games and how to craft the game pieces, as participants hand-carve, stitch, and paint game pieces for more than 20 games. Level II participants will make an atlatl and snow snake, and learn more about the neuroscience of play. Level III participants will be provided with a mentor as they move towards teacher certification.

The fee is $250 and will cover one adult, plus one youth 8 to 18 years old. Supplies and tools for crafting game pieces will be provided. Students are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for playing and crafting indoors (in the on-site facility) and outdoors on the scenic grounds. Advance registration is recommended. To register, please contact us at

Lodging and meals are not included. Participants should pack their own sack lunch and snacks, as the location is somewhat remote. Interested individuals should register online or contact ITGS at 406-226-9141 or

International Traditional Games Society, a registered 501c3 nonprofit, was founded in 1998 by tribal college presidents and cultural directors from Montana and Southern Alberta, Canada. It has since been dedicated to the recovery and restoration of Native American Indian Games. Find more information at:

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