Indigenous Winter Games set for Feb. 24-25 on Lake Bemidji
Indigenous Winter Games will return to Bemidji Feb. 24-25 featuring several different types of snow snake events, prizes, food and much fun for all ages on Lake Bemidji near Paul Bunyan Park.
BEMIDJI — Indigenous Winter Games will return to Bemidji Feb. 24-25 featuring several different types of snow snake events, prizes, food and much fun for all ages on Lake Bemidji near Paul Bunyan Park.
The two days of activities will begin with an area school invitational snow snake tournament on the lake from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 24 Area schools that have participated in snow snake making and other activities are being invited to participate.
Also on Feb. 24, several Ojibwe storytellers will be at the River Rail Folk School talking about Ojibwe stories, culture and history from 6 to 9 p.m. Those who plan to participate in activities on Saturday are encouraged to bring their snow snakes for the ceremonial part of the evening starting at 6 p.m.
Day two, Feb. 25, will feature an open competition snow snake tournament on the lake. Snow snake fans from tribal nations in Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and the surrounding region are expected to be in attendance at this year’s event.
"Snow snake games were originally used by Anishinaabe people to practice skills used for hunting," a release said. "Contests include agility, accuracy, distance skills and artistic merit."
Registration will open at 9 a.m. with games starting at 10. Games include the rolling hoop, target shooting and long-distance throw.
Age categories range from 8 years old to elders. Children 7 and younger will be allowed to practice as time and venues are available.
Because this year’s event is expected to be larger than the previous year, individuals and families are encouraged to bring snow snakes if available. Extra snow snakes will be available.
Food vendors will be on-site and some snacks provided. Prizes will be awarded to some and fun will be had by all.
These Indigenous winter activities are sponsored by Manitoo Ogitigaan and the Watermark Art Center. All events are free and open to the public.
For more information, contact Robert Shimek at (218) 204-1632. Pre-registration is required at bit.ly/3vZWZFd or starting at 9 a.m. on the day of the event. To reserve a vendor spot, contact (218) 214-7550 or visit manidooogitigaan.org.