Kitaskinaw School students give us reasons for our hearts to swell with happiness for many reasons. This time as they shared their knowledge of nêhiyaw metawewina or Cree traditional games with other children and youth. In the past our ancestors in all tribes and all ages participated in hundreds of physical activities that kept them in excellent health. Today, few people realize how important physical health is to survival and long life, but these students do!

Another reason nêhiyaw metawewina are good for everyone is that they place less value on winning -by valuing a humble nature, not bragging and by sharing winnings, and by giving away any prizes won to those who were the hardest competitors (those who made the winner try harder, and therefore do their best).

The social values of traditional games are still important: • Respecting the rules of the competition • Challenging yourself to do better • Respecting your competitors • Honouring the person who gave • Developing the courage, intuition, and/or the skill you find the greatest challenge.

Kitaskinaw School students learn nêhiyaw metawewina as part of integrating maskêkosihk history and social studies with physical education. As for sharing with others, there were 4 Traditional Games Days where our students became the teachers and coaches which helped them develop confidence and leadership skills. This year our Grade 4B class taught pre-schoolers at Parkland Village. These students were patient, kind and super good teachers with these little ones. As well, our Traditional Games Team went full throttle showing fantastic understanding of the games and leaderships skills by teaching University of Alberta Aboriginal Teacher Education Program (ATEP) students, grade 5’s at St. Benedict’s and grade 2 students at Brookwood school.

Students love the traditional games units for the opportunities to build affirming relationships with other players, increase personal pride and confidence in their ability to keep these traditions alive and the positive impact of combining physical activity with culture.

Thank-you Ms. Pierson and students for also sharing these things with us!