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Arts & Life

SDSU Extension Releases Online Guide to Traditional Lakota and Dakota Games

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The SDSU Extension Program is offering an online guide to traditional Lakota and Dakota games. The guide includes instructions for six Dakota and six Lakota games, pictures of playing-pieces, and their original names.

Jeremy Red Eagle is an apprentice learning the Dakota language at Sisseton Wahpeton College. He’s one of the project’s collaborators. He says traditional games helped Dakota people hone survival and other skills in a fun social environment.

Today, he says some of the games can help young people stay active.

“It’s done in a more unstructured way compared to western sports today. So it’s more, I think, inviting to maybe some people that naturally may not be athletes. Maybe they don’t play basketball in high school and things like that. So it kinda opens the door for other young people to get involved and it’s been pretty successful in our community.”

Red Eagle says traditional games are another way to learn and use the Dakota language.

The free guide is available on the SDSU Extension Website. 

Click here to listen to the In the Moment segment.