Indigenous Arts

May 22, 2019

You won’t want to miss the Indigenous Arts tent in the Activity Village this year where kids will be able to create and play the Bone and Stick Game. Port of Vancouver is a proud sponsor of this year’s Indigenous Arts activity.

In this activity, using modern materials children can  make and decorate their own version of the classic game played by many Indigenous groups such as the Mi’kmaq, Inuit and Cree. Traditionally called Bone and Toggle, children would gather a small stick, sinew, scraps of leather and small bones to set up this engaging game. 

There are a variety of ways to play, but the object of the game is always to get a stick through a hole in some material like leather or a bone. In some versions all you need to play is a bone with a hole through it, a stick and a piece of rope with one end tied to the end of the stick and the other end tied to the bone. By tossing the bone in the air and trying to catch it on the other end of the stick, children develop hand-eye coordination and accuracy all while having fun!

This is by no means an exhaustive explanation of the game or context behind it. If you would like to know more it would be advisable to gather information from a local elder or knowledge keeper.

First Nations artist Christine MacKenzie will be facilitating the activity so come say ‘hi’ and make your own game.

About Christine:

Christine MacKenzie is a First Nations artist who was born in Kelowna, B.C. Her mother is a descendant of Kwakuitl royalty. Christine is of the Killer Whale and Eagle Clans. She grew up in south western British Columbia, in the Coast Salish traditional territories (Richmond). Christine finds inspiration in the natural world, seeing beauty in nature’s creations.

Her ties to the First Nations community keeps her fully occupied as she tours the province promoting native art through workshops, dramatic on-stage re-enactments and day camps. She revels at teaching young children how to draw and paint.

Presented by the Port of Vancouver