Nuu-chah-nulth and other Indigenous Nations are gearing up for five days of family-oriented activities and sports as the annual Tlu-piich Games will take place from August 8 to 13 in the Alberni Valley.
The games are a gathering of Nuu-chah-nulth and Indigenous Nations of all ages and abilities who showcase a healthy balanced lifestyle through family-oriented activities, while promoting the spirit of friendship and unity through sport and traditional events.
“The games have been around since 1982,” said Richard Samuel, games coordinator. “They were on hiatus for about six or seven years in the early 2000s, and then in 2009 the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council revived the games.”
Samuel said the first year of revival saw 400 participants which grew to 1,800 last year.
The games will kick off with a canoe race at Canal Beach on Tuesday, August 8 at 8:30 a.m. (registration is at 8 a.m.). Continuing on opening day, a family day will be held at Williamson Park at 1 p.m. with an arrayof children’s games, opening ceremonies and cultural events. Cultural night will take place at 8 p.m. at the House of Gathering.
Day two, Wednesday, Aug. 9, will include a three-on-three basketball tournament at Maht Mahs Gym beginning at 1 p.m. and Lahal at the House of Gathering at 8 p.m.
On day three of the games, Thursday, Aug. 10, the track and field competitions will begin at Bob Dailey Stadium at 2 p.m. and will continue on Friday, Aug. 11 beginning at 9 a.m.
New to the Tlu-piich Games this year will be an orthodox fast ball tournament. Samuel said this game combines fastball and slow pitch together. He said community members have been asking to try out the sport during the games and so two exhibition games will ensue on Friday, Aug. 11 at Rec Park at 6 p.m.
On Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 12 and 13, the slo-pitch and fast ball tournaments will take place at rec park with times to be determined. Closing ceremonies will take place after the final game on Sunday.
“It gives [participants] an opportunity for friendly competitions for First Nations people and it introduces sports to them as well in case they want to go into that sport in the mainstream,” Samuel said.
For more information on the Tlu-piich games, scheduals and registration information, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NuuchahnulthTlupiichGames/