Lakota Elder Games Encourage Healthy Lifestyle

2010 Shinny Game

Lakota people have played the shinny game for many years. The traditional game is a featured event at the Annual Elder games held each May on the Rosebud Reservation.

By Vi Waln

ST. FRANCIS – Tribal citizens of all ages will gather here this week to celebrate 30 years of physical activities geared to encourage local elders to “Stay Active – Stay Healthy.”

The annual event, first held in 1986, welcomes local elders and families to participate in an afternoon of track & field events. The public is welcome to come and support local elders who will participate the following events: 50 yard walk, 100 yard walk, ¼ mile walk, 50 yard run, 100 yard run, ¼ mile run and ¼ mile relay. Field events include horseshoes, softball throw and basketball throw. Hand games, a 3-legged race and sack races will be offered for children.

This event, referred to as the Elder games, will be held at the old track field at St. Francis Indian School. The event was created in 1986 by the Sicangu Elderly Concerns group. These activities are supported entirely by volunteers and local businesses. According to a press release, the event neither solicits nor accepts any public funds whatsoever.

Registration begins at 11:00am on Saturday, May 21, 2016. An opening prayer will be offered at 12:00 noon by Chief Roy Stone, Sr., Elderly Concerns Board Member and Spiritual Leader. Ann Roubideaux, also a member of the Elderly Concerns Board, will give the welcome address.

Track & field events will begin at 12:30pm. Other events will be held as time permits. There will be something for everyone interested in participating. Awards will be given to the following age divisions for both men and women: 50-59, 60-69, 70-79 and 80 & over. It is interesting to note that many former volunteers are now active participants and their children currently serve as volunteers.

A traditional Lakota Shinny game will take place after the track and field events. A meal will also be served. Certificates and medals, along with special recognitions, will be presented immediately following the day’s events.

Everyone over 50 years of age is invited to come out to participate in the track & field events. You are invited to attend this event to support your local elders. People interested in volunteering their time are asked to report to the registration table at 11am on Saturday, May 21.

For more information, please contact Elder Games Committee members Wendell Big Crow at 828-3095, Lynelle Hairy Shirt at 828-7575 or event coordinator Chris Horvath at 856-2547.

Come out and have a good time.

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