Special Olympics Minnesota Hosts Unified Indigenous Games At Cloquet High School

CLOQUET, Minn. — A fun event took place at the Cloquet High School bringing students of all abilities together by playing games.

Special Olympics Minnesota hosted the Unified Indigenous Games combining students with and without disabilities to play, learn, and grow together.

The traditional indigenous games come from all over the world and have always been adaptable and accessible to everyone. The games included a rabbit hunting challenge and a canoe game, where kids canoe across the gym.

The hope is for students to include and welcome each other no matter what disabilities they may or may not have.

“Really this group of students, they’re going to graduate and they’re going to be out in the world and their commitment to including everybody and being kind, being good friends, being welcoming, and having a sense of belonging for everyone is so powerful. So, I hope that when they leave here they know all the good work that they’ve been doing,” said Shannon Murray, Special Olympics Minnesota Schools Program Manager.

Students from a Unified Champion School, which is a school that intentionally promotes inclusivity, came up with the idea and partnered with a Special Olympics program manager to make it happen.

“I think it’s just it’s breaking a norm that we used to see in schools systems. And now with all this work implementing in schools now we see a lot more joy and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities to get out and do things that they enjoy that they probably won’t get to do if we weren’t UCS,” said Austin Fellman, Co-Vice President of Board of Student Directors.

“Oh, it is very fun and very exciting to see the joys and the smiles. And what mostly matters is the importance of inclusion,” said William Duncan, member of Special Olympics U.S. Youth Ambassador.

Students from across Northern Minnesota came to Cloquet to play the indigenous games. If you’d like to know more about the Special Olympics Unified Champion Schools, click here.

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