N.W.T. Indigenous Summer Games begin today in Yellowknife
'There's gonna be a lot of viewers and athletes from across the North,' says Carson Roche, event manager
The 2022 Indigenous Summer Games kick off in Yellowknife Thursday, with about 120 athletes coming to town for the competition.
It will be the first time the Northwest Territories has hosted Indigenous summer games like this.
"It's huge," said Carson Roche, the event manager, about the competition. "There's gonna be a lot of viewers and athletes from across the North."
The sporting competition, held by the Aboriginal Sports Circle N.W.T., is a celebration of traditional games and Indigenous people and culture, Roche said.
The event will focus on athletes over 13, which Roche said is to help keep up interest in traditional Indigenous games outside of school opportunities.
"Once they grow out of that there's not much to look forward to other than Arctic Winter Games," Roche said.
"So, we've had this in our back pocket for a couple of years now. We've been working really hard, there's lots of moving parts, but it's finally starting."
The games run until Sunday.
It includes a junior category for ages 13 to 17 and an open category for 18 and up, with events happening at Weledeh Catholic School and École St. Patrick High School, in Yellowknife.
There will be 10 northern games and 10 Dene Games, including stick pull, archery, axe throwing and tea boiling, said Roche. Other games scheduled include the one-foot high kick, two-foot high kick, Alaskan high kick, and airplane.
"All the games, you know, they have a history to them," Roche said. "They're meant to show you skills to survive on the land. So that's why we teach these games."
All events are open to the public, including cultural events every evening.