Extension Educator, Stephan Carlson, helped to coordinate the first Snow Snake Festival at the new Circle of Life Academy outside of White Earth last week. The festival culminates a curriculum that interweaves cultural and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) lessons.
Snow snakes, called goonginebigoog in Ojibwe, is an Native American game that was once popular in upper-Midwestern tribes. Students grades four through eight from Naytahwaush Charter School, Pine Point and the Circle of Life Academy worked around ten hours to gather, shape, paint and wax their snakes - long, thick sticks. At the festival, they then competed in games for distance (which snakes travel furthest on a plowed snow path), and accuracy (who can toss the snake through a rolling hoop).