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Traditional Native Games Clinic slated for June 1214, Annual Youth Competition on June 1416

From International Traditional Games Society

GLACIER NATIONAL PARK — International Traditional Games Society (ITGS) offers its annual 3-day instructor certification clinic at Glacier Park Lodge in East Glacier Park, Montana, on June 12 - 14, followed by three days of high-energy youth competitions June 14 - 16. Register for events by June 1 at

The youth competition features six individual games and six team games, with events starting on June 14 at 1:00pm, followed by two full days (8am–5pm) of action and adventure. Team events include Shinney, Doubleball, Kickball, Lacrosse (Lakota), Hand Game, and Hoop and Arrow (Salish). Individual games include Run and Scream, Bow Shooting, Hoop and Arrow (Dakota), Hoop and Long Arrow (Blackfeet), and Atlatl. Teams of six are required; youth may register individually and will be arranged into teams. Registration is $25 per youth.

The certification clinic features three levels of training, supporting new participants and those desiring to add onto previous certifications. Level I students learn games of chance and intuition plus games of physical skill. As participants learn the historical significance of the games, they also learn how to responsibly harvest materials and craft the game pieces. Participants 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 clinic fee is $250.00 and covers one adult and one youth aged 8 to 18 years old. Supplies and tools for crafting game pieces are provided. Students are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and appropriate clothing for playing and crafting both indoors and outdoors.

What once reinforced survival skills and encouraged unity within the tribe, traditional Native games continue to promote mental, physical, social, and spiritual health through a bit of comradery and competition. Finding that European competitions had replaced the traditional Native games of old, ITGS made it their mission to recover and restore what had been lost. In so doing, they discovered a window to the past charged with relevancy for today’s modern youth and a medium in which Native American youth, adults, and elders could find restored cultural identity.

Lodging and meals are not included in fees. Within walking distance, participants can find a multitude of restaurants and lodging options ranging 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 East Glacier Park.
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