What do Native wellness, Family bonding, and a competitive spirit all have in common? They all showed up to the Michigan Indian Family Olympics, and this year they brought their A-game.
The Olympics, hosted in Mt. Pleasant Michigan, celebrated it’s 30th annual event since being founded in 1987. What started out 30 years ago as a way to get more Saginaw Chippewa Tribal families to be active and embrace wellness has grown to a record breaking 1,000+ Natives, and 10 different tribes from across the state of Michigan competing against each other in a series of Olympic style events for all ages. The events were an array of activities from the 400 meter dash, to Archery, all the way down to seeing how far you could throw a softball. People of all ages were sure to be included with sports like the “Baby Crawl” race, “Tot Trot”, and age categories that reached the 65+ bracket.
Each tribe sported their own customized team T-shirts, and each medal had a point value. When a tribal citizen was awarded a medal their team received the points. At the end of the day’s events the points were tallied and the events top teams announced.
The host tribe, The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe was awarded first place over all with a staggering total of 69 gold medals-49 Silver- & 66 Bronze.
The Gun Lake Tribe of Potawatomi Indians came in close second with 48 Gold Medals- 66 Silver- & 51 Bronze.
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa received third place with 50 Gold Medals-49 Silver-& 59 Bronze.
What a fun way to use fitness and family to bring our Indigenous people together!
Want to learn more about the event or get information about how you can participate? Visit their website here.
Photo Courtesy of The Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe website