Thursday 2 June 2022

Physical Education Resources for National Indigenous Peoples Day – June 21

Submitted by: Sonia Sheehan, HPEC Vice President Communications

In recent years I have explored ways I can include Indigenous knowledge, traditions, activities, and games into my elementary physical education teaching.  With National Indigenous Peoples Day approaching on June 21, sharing what I have learned seems timely.  My exploration into Indigenous knowledge, traditions, activities, and games began with attending professional development sessions and searching for appropriate resources to strengthen my understanding of Indigenous Games.  Once I increased my knowledge of Indigenous Games, I investigated what could I share with my students.  With most of the Indigenous activities and games being “new” to me, my students and I learned alongside each other as we participated in the activities and games for the first time together.  Quickly we found a sense of community, enjoyment, pride and practicality in the activities and games we played.  I would like to thank all the people who have shared their traditional knowledge with me through workshops, online resources, and videos.  Here are a few of my favourite Indigenous Games, Activities and Resources I would like to pass along to you:

1.     Sharing Circle, a traditional way to provide an opportunity for all to share promoting equality, trust, respect, honesty, and a sense of community.

2.     Tatanka, Tatanka, a traditional game simulating the buffalo hunt with the head buffalo, Tatanka, trying to tag all the other buffalo.

3.     Run and Scream, a traditional Blackfoot game teaching tolerance, patience, and the importance of lung capacity.

4.     The Blackfoot Movement Story, found on Be Fit for Life Resource webpage, provides a link between movement and learning about traditional Indigenous culture and knowledge.

5.     The Blackfoot Movement Story Extension Resource, also found on the Be Fit for Life webpage, provides nature inspired activities that reinforce the Blackfoot Movement Story.

6.     Animal Muk, an Inuit game, played in a circle formation where the person in the middle makes animal noises to try to make the people in the circle laugh.

7.     An Amazing Resource to support teaching Traditional Games: Be Fit for Life: Move and Play through Traditional Games Lesson Plans:

Recently I attended the Ever Active Schools Shaping the Future Conference and the closing keynote by Dr. Pamela Toulouse on the topic of “Embedding Truth and Reconciliation in K – 12” finished with a powerful video showcasing a group of Indigenous youth performing a song.  The lyrics of the song offer a valuable resource to help educate our students.  This video is the N’we Jinan Artists with students selected from the Surrey School District in British Columbia performing, “Show us the way”.

Wishing you and your students an educational National Indigenous Peoples Day!