Char-Koosta News

The Official Publication of the Flathead Nation online

Traditional Native Games Clinic: June 30 to July 2 at Glacier Park Lodge

EAST GLACIER PARK — International Traditional Games Society (ITGS) will lead a 3-day clinic at the beautiful Glacier Park Lodge. With three levels of training, the clinic will accommodate individuals who are completely new to traditional games or desiring to expand their knowledge.

Finding that European competitions had replaced the traditional Native games of old, ITGS years ago made it their mission to recover and restore what’s been lost. In so doing, they discovered a window to the past charged with relevancy for today’s modern youth and a beautiful medium in which Native American youth, adults, and elders find restored cultural identity. Promoting mental, physical, social, and spiritual health, the games offer far more than comradery and competition; they teach survival skills and encourage unity in the clan, band, and tribe.

“Not just for youth workers, 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 chance and intuition as well as games of physical skill. They’ll learn the historical significance of the games plus how to responsibly harvest materials and craft the game pieces. In fact, participants will hand-carve, stitch, and paint game pieces for more than 20 games. Level II students craft additional game pieces, including an atlatl and snow snake, and learn more about the neuroscience of play. Level III students assist with teaching and will be provided with a mentor for self-analysis of Native games knowledge.

The fee is $250.00 and covers one adult and 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 both indoors and outdoors. Advance registration is suggested. To register, visit www.traditionalnativegames.org.

Lodging and meals are not included. Within walking distance, participants can find a multitude of rave-worthy restaurants and lodging options that range from budget-friendly hostels and motels to lovely home rentals or the historic Glacier Park Lodge, itself, built in 1913. Advanced lodging reservations are advised due to a high volume of summer tourism traffic in the quaint, mountain village of East Glacier Park.

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: www.traditionalnativegames.org.

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