Thousands of athletes, coaches and volunteers traveled from around northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland and Scandinavia to attend the 2023 Arctic Winter Games in Alberta, Canada. Alongside hockey, skiing, skating and wrestling were Arctic sports such as the Alaskan high kick and indigenous Dene games, such as the stick pull, that have origins in hunting and endurance. The arm pull, for example, mimics grabbing a fish’s tail. “Back in the day it was really important for your survival when you’re hunting out on the land to have quick feet, to be able to push your body,” said NWT athlete Danica Taylor. This year, indigenous people from Russia were prohibited from taking part because of the conflict in Ukraine.

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