Spirit of the Game: An Indigenous Wellspring

By: Gregory Cajete, PhD


‘The Game’ was a major part of Indigenous Society in America, long before the arrival of the Europeans. This work explores the philosophical foundation of athletics and ‘The Game’ in these Native American Societies.

This work explores the philosophical foundation of athletics and ‘the Game’ in these Native American Societies. Dr. Cajete presents a foundation for understanding the ‘Spirit of the Game’ and all it meant, and still means to Indigenous people. More valuable still, he has collaborated with an educator long experienced in resurrection, development and implementation of Native Games to present practical examples. Readers will be inspired to exploit this knowledge to help capture the enthusiasm of students for sport and transfer athletic motivation to a passion for learning.

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  • ISBN: 978-1-882308-67-5
    Price: $36.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2005
    Rights: Canada
    Pages: 214
    Size: 6″ x 9″

  • Table of Contents


    1. Native Games for Life
    2. A Historical Perspective of Native Games
    3. The Mythic Foundation of Native Games
    4. An Epistemology of Native Games
    5. The Psychology of Native Games
    6. Creativity, Art and Vision in Native Games
    7. Community, Leadership and Native Games
    8. Indigenous Games, Food, Health and Wholeness
    9. The Promise of Native Games
    10. Empowerment Through Indigenous Knowledge

    Appendix A
    Appendix B
    Appendix c

  • Gregory Cajete, PhD

    Gregory Cajete, PhD is an educator, practicing artist, and educational consultant. He is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, where he lives with his wife Patricia and son, James. Dr. Cajete has taught extensively at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, where he was the founding Director of the Centre for Research and Cultural Exchange. Additionally, he has lectured widely in schools, universities, and for educational programs throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, and the former Soviet Union. Currently, Dr. Cajete is an associate professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico, and is also Director of Native American Studies at UNM. He also operates a private educational consulting firm, Tewa Educational Consulting, specializing in environmental education and multicultural curriculum/program development in science, social sciences, and the arts.

  • Spirit of the game is a book that can be read again and again. The symbols and levels of meaning associates with Indigenous games become clear within a context of connectedness. Spiritual, emotional, physical and intellectual connectedness in games can move a person toward selfknowledge and social awareness. This book honors traditional native games and the role they play in the fulfillment of human potential.

    Dr. Joy Griffin

    First Nations Blackfoot