St. Hilary Indigenous Winter Games

St. Hilary Indigenous Winter Games
Posted on 03/07/2023
Winter Game Activity

On Monday, February 27, the St Hilary Storm held a day of exciting and engaging traditional winter activities for Indigenous cultures across Canada, including the Inuit, Siksika and Anishinabeg.

Organized into multi-grade groups to promote leadership for intermediate students, all St. Hilary Catholic School students tested their strengths and skills as they participated in the one-foot high kick, the kneeling jump, and other Inuit games. They tried their hand-eye coordination as they hurled "spears" at target hoops and their endurance as they ran on snowshoes. They listened to traditional legends, constructed inuksuit, and enjoyed delicious bannock courtesy of Erin and Martina of the Anishinaabemowin Boodawe Committee. The Storm was honoured by the presence of the Nip-Rock High School Drum Group, which anchored the opening ceremonies of their Winter Games, shared their knowledge of the drum and even had students join in the drumming. Students and staff left school at the end of the day exhausted from the excitement, exertion and fresh air but still exhilarated by all of the learning, teamwork and fun.

The Gichigiiwedin Winter Games have been held by schools in the Superior North Catholic District School Board in some fashion for more than seven years. The original iteration saw students from St. Edward Catholic School, St. Joseph Catholic School, Our Lady of Fatima Catholic School and St. Brigid Catholic School gather in Nakina for a day of friendly competition and teamwork as they participated in activities such as snowshoeing, sledding, hoop dancing, and traditional Inuit games meant to develop participants' skill, strength, and endurance. Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the games shifted to an online, asynchronous format, so the games at St. Hilary Catholic School marked the first time that the games were held as a whole-school, live and in-person event since 2019.

One student said afterward that "This was a super fun day. I had lots of fun learning. Hearing the sound of the drums was probably my favourite time of the day. I had such a wonderful day."

Miigwetch to all of the organizers, participants and special guests!

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