January 22nd, 2021

Dance and games are valuable activities

By Yoos, Cam on April 29, 2020.

Submitted by Lethbridge Sport Council

Traditional ways to stay healthy and active include both dance and games.

Traditional games are passed down through generations. The Active for Life website says that “traditional sports and games can help strengthen a child’s sense of culture while increasing physical literacy and physical activity levels. These games are a way of passing on survival skills from their ancestors.”

Traditionally, games have been played to celebrate the good times and to heal during the challenging times. Our latest blog post Traditional Games and Dance at Home includes a list of links and resources to help stay active and entertained while we continue to live with the COVID-19 pandemic and the restrictions that come with it.

Active For Life has several indigenous games to play as a family. The Siturtaq or Monkey Dance requires no equipment. Make the Stick Jump requires five eight-inch sticks and bean bags or rocks to throw. Check out activeforlife.com for complete rules and more game ideas.

The High Five website has 30 indigenous games from 10 indigenous communities across Canada.

The Alberta Be Fit for Life Network has free downloadable resources that will get kids active while they learn a bit of history with the Blackfoot Movement Story, learn some Blackfoot names of animals in Alphabet Animoves, and Orange Marks the Spot will provide some outdoor adventures.

The 2020 Arctic Winter Games was one of the many sport events cancelled because of COVID-19. This multi-sport competition was scheduled to take place in Whitehorse, Yukon in March, 50 years after the first Games were held in 1970.

Our blog includes a link to the Arctic Winter Games bench reach event – watch those hamstrings – or you can watch Rick Mercer give some of the events a try.

Taking part in a traditional dance is a way to celebrate, heal, and exercise. The jingle dance has been getting a lot of attention as dancers across North America post their dances online to help brighten a world during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The jingle dress dance is commonly seen in competitive powwows, performed by indigenous women and girls, and gets its name from the rows of metal cones – called ziibaaska’iganan – attached to their dresses which make a distinctive sound as they dance.

Follow along to an instructional video or watch the teen girls and women’s jingle dance from the 2020 Lethbridge International Peace Powwow.

The blog can be found on our website at https://lethbridgesportcouncil.ca/blog/post/traditional-games-at-home

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