Everyone plays games, or at least everyone should. And the games we play, whether we think about it or not, are tied to our identities. Many know the origins of lacrosse among the Haudenosaunee – and similar ballgames being played in Indigenous communities across Turtle Island – or the Mesoamerican ballgame played by hitting a rubber ball through an elevated stone ring. At AIIS, we believe we need to play more.
The Odamino Indigenous Play Series takes Indigenous health as its starting point, but brings people together to play games for social well-being and communal health. Odamino is an Anishinaabemowin word that means "s/he plays."
During Spring 2016, AIIS hosted Shushumeg (also called Gooniginebig or Snowsnakes), a game played by throwing a wooden pole down a snowy or icy track. Once the snow melted, we organized a day to play ᏗᎦᏓᏲᏍᏗ or Cherokee Marbles.
This series is intended to bring people together to socialize; learn and revitalize Indigenous games, play, and health; and create cross-cultural sites of learning.