Tea and Bannock Room

During the last 5 years I have had the opportunity to explore, create and learn a new sport, the sport of Dene Games. The Dene Games are a wonderful, challenging and spirited skill requiring cooperation, strength, focus and leadership. These games have enabled me to promote the Dene culture and traditions through sport and more importantly students have been able to learn and reflect on past traditions.

My journey has given me added insight into the life of Dene people, particularly the Dogrib people. The Dene Games were once more about just games; they were once a means of Dene survival. Their life years ago revolved around survival; hunting, trapping, gathering and fishing. This lifestyle required endless days of hard work and developed talented hunters, creative clothes-makers, creative tools, mysterious stories and exciting games.

These games can create an exciting component to a student’s physical education experience. The Dene Games have created increased physical education participation with students that normally do not take part and the games does not give the more athletic physical education student any more of an advantage over another student. These games require students to use their creative abilities and skills to win and it offers a level playing field for all that play. Through the development of these games into my physical education class I soon realized how these games exemplifies the true spirit of what physical education should be: Respect, Honesty, Integrity, Trust, Cooperation and Leadership.

At Chief Jimmy Bruneau Regional High School we have always encouraged and actively promoted more community interactions. During a recent tournament nearly 100 athletes participated in a 3-day event featuring the 5 Dene Games and members of the community, including Elders, parents and children came out to our school to take part in a celebration. With a continued emphasis on Dene culture and promotion these games can become a key component of community relationships and student participation.

I welcome you to click here “Invitation for Others” and leave a comment in the Tea and Bannock Room about your Dene Games experience. Masi cho.