17th Annual - Native American Winter Games

Saturday, February 22, 2020 - 10 am to 4 pm
Event will take place with or without snow

Free and Open to the public
Suggested donation $10 per family

During the long harsh winters in Western New York, the Seneca nestled in their bark longhouses to repair clothing, make tools and prepare for the spring. Despite the winter weather, Senecas remained active throughout the season. Many of the winter activities that traditionally occupied them outdoors are still in practice today.

Join us for Ganondagan's Native American Winter Games as a way to celebrate and discover the Seneca ways of winter through traditional Native American activities! PLUS...Visit the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan as our guest. Enjoy complimentary admission to the Seneca Art & Culture Center at Ganondagan!

Activities & Schedule

Dog Sledding Demonstrations 
Experience the thrill of watching a dog sled team racing across the snow.
Location: Outside in front of Seneca Art & Culture Center
Time: 11 AM- 3 PM
Snow Boats - Back by popular demand!
Seneca people would make solid wooden “boats” and race them down hills for fun. (Think of the “Pinewood Derby” from scouting) Channels would be made in the snow, one for each boat and then released four at a time down the snowy hills. 

A few loaner boats will be available for you to try out – but why not create your own snow-boat and bring it for a test run at Winter Games? Click on the link for plans and instructions to make your own snow boat.
Location: Outside (Only with Snow)  Field   
Time: 11 AM - 3 PM

Enjoy the rare chance to try your hand at the game of Snowsnake, a Haudenosaunee sport steeped in tradition.
Location: Outside/with Snow, Classroom 1/No Snow
Time: 11 AM - 3 PM

Snow shoeing
Ganondagan has a limited number of snow shoes available for our guests to borrow. If you have your own snow shoes be sure to bring them! Identification is required to borrow snow shoes with a 1 hour limit.
Location: Outside (Only with Snow) 
Time: 11 AM- 3 PM

Iroquois Social Dancing
Come see the Allegany River Indian Dancers perform traditional Iroquois Social dances and songs!
Location: Auditorium   
Times: 11:30 AM & 2:30 PM (each session is for 45 minutes)
Join us for the traditional winter activity listening to Haudenosaunee stories as told by the ever popular, Perry Ground (Onondaga).
Location: Auditorium   
Time: 11 AM & 2 PM (each session is for 30 minutes)
Wampum Learning Center
See a variety of wampum belts, learn their meanings, how they are made, and how they are still culturally significant today.
Location: Classroom 1
Time: 10 AM - 4 PM
Children's Activities
Children of all ages are welcome to do children's crafts.
Location: Classroom 2
Time: 10 AM - 4 PM

Native Foods
Delicious foods will be available for sale.

Location: Lobby
Time: 10:30 AM - 2:30 PM

Iroquois Creation Story Film & Seneca Art & Culture Center Gallery 
If you haven't had the opportunity to see our award winning short film, the Iroquois Creation Story, or to tour our gallery then today is great day to see them both!
Location: Orientation Theater & Gallery   
Time: 10 AM - 4 PM


Thank you to the Rochester Area Community Foundation, WXXI, and Kids Out and About who helped make this event possible