Several youth from Seabird Island will get their taste of fame this weekend, as a television show shot there in 2012 makes it to the small screen.
Students at Seabird Island school took part in filming Warrior Games that summer, showing the show’s host how to play several games they’ve learned from their elders. Their episode will air on Oct. 4 on APTN, and one shot in Cultus Lake will air on Oct. 11.
Warrior Games focuses on how First Nation children are learning traditional games, and how they’re transforming the games into their own modern versions of those played by the ancestors.
In the Seabird episode, students played games like Nobbies, Slippery Fish, and Earth Ball.
All three are games that they normally play at school, and all have some basis in First Nation culture. Nobbies, host and producer Steve Sxwithul’txw said, is much like boleros. It’s a traditional game that was once only played by the women in a community. Men weren’t even allowed to watch women play it.
But elders have taught the game, and in teaching the game they teach the history as well.
Slippery Fish mimics hand bombing, and the goal is to pass a ‘fish’ around the group as fast as possible without dropping it. It’s silly and fun, just like a kids’ game should be. They also demonstrated Earth Ball to the film crew. While it’s not a traditional game, Earth Ball offers its own lessons to those who play.
The goal of the show is to capture all of the ways First Nations students and teachers are staying active and healthy while using the teachings of their elders, Sxwithul’txw says.
“And it’s always with a youth focus,” he said. “I participate in the games, and they teach me.”
This is the fifth episode to air in the series.
Sxwithul’txw trains with local athletes and world record holders, chats with the elders about the cultural and historical significance of each sport, and plays it in a competitive environment.
“It’s a chance for us to showcase Indigenous games to First Nations across Canada, learn from the past about what was really important to our tribes, and educate the youth in a fun and meaningful way,” he said.
Check your cable provider’s listings for showtimes.