Join YWAM Arctic Mercy for an amazing week of service at the World Eskimo and Indian Olympics, July 2017.
About the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics
The first World Eskimo Olympics was held in Fairbanks in 1961 drawing contestants and dance teams from Barrow, Unalakleet, Tanana, Fort Yukon, Noorvik and Nome. The event was a big success and has been held annually ever since.
For time immemorial, Native peoples of the circumpolar areas of the world have gathered in small villages to participate in games of strength, endurance, balance, and agility. Along with these athletic games, dancing, story telling, and other audience participation games took place. This provided an opportunity for friendly competition, entertainment and laughter. The hosts provided food and lodging, and visitors brought news from surrounding villages and expanded opportunities for challenge building and renewing old and new friendships. This is the background of the World Eskimo-Indian Olympics and the atmosphere, which we seek to replicate.
The games that are played by these people display the preparedness one needed for survival. They require skill as well as strength, agility, and endurance. In this manner, the people could at least teach the children that they had to be tough to make it on their own, not just in one area, but in all. The games left no part of the body untested.
In the past, whenever there was a gathering of families or villages, there were feasts, dances, and games. Often, when these gatherings took place, a messenger was sent to neighboring villages to extend a formal invitation. Today, these games are played during the Fourth of July and Christmas holidays.
Come join us in helping carry on this wonderful tradition of friendly competition, fellowship and sport as we partner in celebrating Alaska’s Native heritage!