Arctic Winter Games launch in 1970
With events like "knuckle hop", "ear pull" and "sledge jump", the Arctic Winter Games are more than just another international athletic competition. The best of the North compete in ancient native games alongside hockey and curling as part of the biannual event. The Games began in 1970 as a way for folks living north of the 55th parallel to compete on their own turf. It has since evolved into a sporting and cultural extravaganza where throat singers and dog mushers help preserve the distinct northern way of life.
Reporting from the capital of the Northwest Territories, CBC's Ernie Afaganis describes the "unique Eskimo competitions" such as the "high kick," "blanket toss" and the excruciating "ear weight." "Don't try it," cautions Afaganis, "unless you really don't need the ear." Play-by-play broadcasts in native languages, heard later in the clip, keep all northerners informed.
• Traditional native games evolved from the need to build strength, endurance, accuracy and resistance to pain within the small confines of an igloo. • The Inuit are aboriginal people from Northern Canada. The word means "people" in the Inuit language, Inuktitut. They are sometimes referred to as "Eskimo"; a term considered derogatory by the Inuit people.
Broadcast Date: March 10, 1970
Reporter: Ernie Afaganis
Speaker: Pierre Elliott Trudeau
Last updated: March 11, 2014
Page consulted on March 11, 2014
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