It’s a warm, overcast day and students at Eric Langton Elementary are participating in the second annual Traditional Aboriginal Games.
“This event is so empowering for the kids,” says Katrina Haintz, Aboriginal Support Worker at Eric Langton Elementary. “We are encouraging everyone to learn more about our culture as well as their own and keep traditions alive.”
Haintz and the school’s Grade 6/7 Aboriginal Leadership Students organized the event, which included eight different activity stations: wrestling, lacrosse, Hoop Jump, Fox Tail, Slahal, Double Ball, Bison Run and Rock Toss.
“The students researched each game during our lunch-time meetings, and the students took the information they learned together and created teaching to share with the school during our games. We try to find games from their cultural background if possible so they can learn more about their ancestors,” she said.
Haintz explained that in First Nations culture, everything had a purpose, value or skill.
“Life was rich in relationships, teamwork, art, music, dance and gaming. Native games are more than just games. They build body and spirit through exercise and are played by all age groups – children, youth and adults. Many games have roots in ancestral tests of strength and sport that reinforced group operation and sharpened survival skills in often hostile environments. For warriors, the games helped maintain their readiness and combat skills between times of war.”