Arctic and Dene sports and games will be taking over the William McDonald Middle School gym this weekend, with 22 schools and 176 athletes competing in the 2019 Traditional Games Championships.

The annual event is drawing student-athletes from the ages of 10 to 12, who will compete in eight events including hand games as well as high kicks, wrist hang, arm pull, stick pull and pole push.

Schools from the Beaufort Delta, Sahtu, Deh Cho, South Slave, Tlicho and Akaitcho regions are participating. This includes Yellowknife’s William McDonald School Middle School, École St. Joseph School, Mildred Hall School, Weledeh Catholic School and Ndilo’s K’àlemì Dene School.

Opening ceremonies start at 7 p.m. Thursday with a qulliq lighting, drum dance and introduction of teams. All events are free and open to the public.

The schedule for the three-day event is as follows:

Thursday, February 14
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM: Opening Ceremonies/Drum Dance

Friday, February 15

8:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Wrist Hang & Snow Snake

1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: 2-Foot High Kick

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Arm Pull

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM: Hand Games (double elimination)

Saturday, February 16

8:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Stick Pull

10:15 AM – 12:00 PM: Pole Push

1:00 PM – 3:00 PM: Hand Games (double elimination)

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM: 1-Foot High Kick

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM: Closing Ceremonies