Skip to main content

Indigenous Games


On Friday May 10th students at South Nelson had the privilege of learning and playing a few traditional Indigenous games from Vanessa Lozecznik. Vanessa works with local Elders to learn about these traditional games and has received permission to share them with her students. Many of the games that she introduced to us on Friday were traditional Blackfoot games that were taught to Vanessa by Ktunaxa Elders. 

Students learned to play “Run and Scream” which was designed for children to test/increase their lung capacity and stamina. 

Bannock Ball was a crowd favourite. In this game students are divided into two teams. Two students face off with their hands behind their back and wait to hear the drum to try to grab the ball and try to throw it into the other team’s hoop to score a point, all with the challenge of only being able to take 3 steps before you can pass. 

Students also got to try a game called “Hub Hub” a traditional game of chance played with rocks that have various symbols painted on the tops. Each different combination of patterns scores different points. Traditionally this game would be played between different tribes and the wager would be whatever item your tribe had a surplus of. One tribe may be trading blankets while the other might be trading horses. 

We ended our day with a game Ms. Corner taught the students called “Tatanka Tatanka” a game played by many different Indigenous nations. It is a tag game where one student begins in the middle of the field as the “Tatanka”. The rest of the students line up and try to run past the Tatanka and become a Tatanka if they are tagged. Once every student is tagged and the herd has grown, the last person standing or tagged becomes the Tatanka in the next round. Tatanka means Buffalo in Lakota and the idea of the game is to teach children about the buffalo hunt which was an important food/material source for many Indigenous communities.

 Our students had a blast learning these new games and can’t wait to play them again.

Mrs. Corner