The World Eskimo-Indian Olympics (WEIO) is an annual event held over four days in July. WEIO promotes the culture expertise and traditions of Alaska, Greenland, Siberian and Canadian Eskimos and American Indians. The games require skill, strength, agility and endurance and will test their ability to the utmost highest level. This is an exciting time for competitive tournaments, traditional dance, beautiful artwork, stunning regalia and the Miss WEIO pageant. Drug free environment promoted.
How Pick.Click.Give. makes a difference
The World Eskimo-Indian Olympic Games (WEIO) takes place annually at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks the 3rd Wednesday of every July. In order to stage this event, WEIO relies on donations/sponsorships, soft good sales, fundraising and volunteers. Without such invaluable support, WEIO could not exist.
In 1961, two bush pilots, the late A.E. “Bud” Hagberg and Frank Whaley, watched the Native games and dances while traveling to the rural communities. The rapidly developing State of Alaska, led to a fear that the games might be forgotten and not passed on. That’s when the first Olympic events were created.
The WEIO has grown since then with an ever-increasing number of athletes. Youth as young as 12 years old are encouraged to participate. Younger children watch others practice the games and Elders share their knowledge and/or skills.
WEIO is also a time to display parkas, kuspuks, mukluks, moose hide dresses, vests and jewelry during the Regalia contest. It’s a time to share stories through dance and motions. Watch passionately as Miss WEIO contestants are judged during their traditionally related talent presentations and impromptu speeches about WEIO and Native issues.
WEIO gives people and participants a chance to see supreme feats of endurance and agility and the rare chance to experience a culture alongside those who live within it. For some, it is the only tie to their heritage and a means of safeguarding their culture.
WEIO’s long term objective is to provide a facility for youth to practice as well as showcase their traditional athletic abilities. All proceeds go to support WEIO’s effort to continually provide a culturally rich experience through dance, songs and traditional games.