Sealaska Heritage

NEWS_Anchorage traditional games open to be held for first time in two years

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Event scheduled this weekend

June 16, 2021

(Games Website) (About Native Youth Olympics) (Sponsors)

Sealaska Heritage Institute (SHI) will co-sponsor an in-person Traditional Games open this weekend in Anchorage for athletes ages sixteen and older, marking the first time the games will be held there since the pandemic sidelined the event.

The games will feature 50 athletes from Anchorage and other areas of the state. All participants must be tested within 72 hours of the event or be fully vaccinated. Because of virus restrictions, the event is not open to the public, but SHI will livestream it from a website set up for the games.

The open is scheduled from 10 am-5 pm, Saturday, June 19 and from 10 am -3 pm, Sunday, June 20, at the Begich Middle School.

Journalists are welcome to cover it in-person and should notify Coach Kyle Worl at or 907.227.4994 if they plan to attend. 

About Native Youth Olympics

​The Traditional Games includes 10 different events that 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. 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. 


The Traditional Games and Juneau’s NYO team are a community collaboration made possible by the following major sponsors: Sealaska, Sealaska Heritage, University of Alaska Southeast, Central Council of Tlingit and Haida, Cook Inlet Tribal Council, SEARHC, Select Physical Therapy, Tlingit & Haida Community Council, Kindred Post and Trickster Co., and in partnership with the Juneau School District, Ketchikan Indian Community, Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District, Goldbelt Heritage, Zach Gordon Youth Services and UAS Wooch Een.

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.

CONTACT: Kathy Dye, SHI Media and Publications Deputy Director, 907.321.4636,; Coach Kyle Worl, 907.227.4994,