Native Village 
Youth and Education News

March 1, 2013

First International Traditional Games Conference, June 2013
Condensed by Native Village

The ancient games of indigenous people throughout the world supported physical and social survival for tens of thousands of years." The action and knowledge of those old games is powerful," says DeeAnna Leader, former Director of the International Traditional Games Society. "The first conference, June 26-28, 2013, is planned for deeper understanding between tribal games experts and modern neuroscientists."

Two North American tribal games experts, Dr. Gregory Cajete, University of New Mexico and Oren Lyons, Onondaga National Council of Chiefs, will be the main speakers on the values and purposes of indigenous games. Dr. Jaak Panksepp, Washington State University (neurobiology of joy) and Dr. Sergio Pellis, University of Lethbridge, Alberta (neurobiology of play) will speak to biological benefits of games.

Craig Falcon, Executive Director of the International Traditional Games Society, stated that, "In the past, vigorous, physical competitions connected tribal people with the spirit of healing and power. "He noted, "Other competitions called 'games of chance and intuition' developed social and emotional sensed that supported survival. Mankind's future may depend on re-acquiring those traits for adaption to a highly complicated, modern society."

The conference, sponsored by Salish Kootenai College and the Traditional Games Society, will feature indigenous games, horse culture games, and the neurobiology of play and joy. Sessions will include presenters for educational programs, museums, parks &recreation, and tribal agencies that have used traditional North American Indian games as tools for teaching health, history, and vital social/emotional skills.

The "Call for Presenters" of indigenous games and information regarding exhibition booths can be found on the conference website.  Registrations will be limited to 500 adults and 200youth. Web site for the conference is at Questions about the conference can also be sent to Craig Falcon, Executive Director of International Traditional Games Society at or call DeeAnna Leader, Board of Directors at406.226.9141.



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