Sealaska Heritage Institute
The Native Youth Olympics is a statewide sport that includes 10 different events or games to test skills of strength, agility, balance, endurance, and focus. These games are based on hunting and survival skills of the indigenous people of Alaska and across the arctic going back hundreds of years. Each year, teams of high school and middle school athletes from across the state travel to Anchorage to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics. More than 500 athletes from over 100 communities, split into male and female division, compete for 1st-5th place medals in the 10 events.
Athletes strive to perform at their personal best while helping and supporting their fellow competitors, no matter what team. This is the spirit of the games, to work together toward common goals and learn from the skills and values that allowed Alaska Native people to survive and thrive in some of the harshest conditions.
In order to take part in the Sr. Native Youth Olympics, athletes must be currently enrolled and in good standing in a middle school, high school or GED program and between the ages of 12-19.
They do NOT need to be Alaska Native.
Next: 2019 Traditional Games (Team Juneau Tryouts) March 16-17, 2019
This program is open to all Juneau students.
Thunder Mountain High School
- Mondays & Fridays after school, 3:45-5:30 pm, Yellow Wing Commons
Juneau-Douglas High School:
- Tuesdays after school, 3:45-5:30 pm, Auxiliary Gym
- Fridays at lunch, 12:10-12:45 pm, Auxiliary Gym
Juneau’s NYO practices are sponsored by SHI, Central Council of Tlingit & Haida, the University of Alaska Southeast, Juneau School District and JSD Indian Studies Program.
2018 Traditional Games
(Results) The 2018 Traditional Games, held in late March in Juneau, were a big success, with more than 50 athletes registered and well over 100 spectators in attendance. Medals were awarded to Middle School Division and High School/Open Adult (18+ Division with the following results:
Central Council Tlingit and Haida hosted a fry bread taco fundraiser and sold t-shirts to help raise funds to send a Juneau team to the Native Youth Olympics in almost thirty years. More on the Juneau team coming soon.
Check out this video clip showing Erick Whisenant winning the gold in the Two Foot High Kick, kicking a high of 7' 2"!
Sponsored by Sealaska Heritage, Central Council Tlingit & Haida and Wooch.Een in collaboration with Goldbelt Heritage.
About Sealaska Heritage Institute
Sealaska Heritage Institute is a private nonprofit founded in 1980 to perpetuate and enhance Tlingit, Haida and Tsimshian cultures of Southeast Alaska. Its goal is to promote cultural diversity and cross-cultural understanding through public services and events. SHI also conducts social scientific and public policy research that promotes Alaska Native arts, cultures, history and education statewide. The institute is governed by a Board of Trustees and guided by a Council of Traditional Scholars, a Native Artist Committee and a Southeast Regional Language Committee.