Iroquois Nationals Go For Gold in FIL World Championship

When you talk about lacrosse, you talk about the lifeblood of the Six Nations. The game is ingrained into our culture and our system and our lives.” ~Oren Lyons (Faith keeper of the Turtle Clan of the Onondaga Nation)

From July 10th – 19th 2014, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) World Championship will be held in Denver, Colorado. 38 Nations from around the globe are scheduled to complete, including the Iroquois Nationals who are ranked among the top six Nations competing, along with Australia, Canada, England, Japan, and the United States.

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Lacrosse was a gift to us from the Creator, to be played for his enjoyment and as a medicine game for healing the people. The Haudenosaunee people know that all creatures, no matter how big or small, are significant and have a contribution to make to the overall cycle of life.” ~ Iroquois Nationals

Lacrosse, referred to as “Creators Game” originated amongst Native peoples of Turtle Island and was played by numerous tribes. Often, games included several hundred players and playing fields stretched out over great distances. Creators Game was played as a way to show thanks for all of creation, other times is was utilized as medicine to help ill members of the Nation.

In 1967, the FIL World Championship was incepted originating as a four-team invitational. In 1990, the Iroquois Nationals, a lacrosse team comprised of the Six Nations of the Iroquois League, were admitted into the International Lacrosse Federation and allowed to compete in international competition. The Iroquois Nationals are the first, and only, Native American/First Nations team sanctioned to compete in international competition in any sport. Since their sanctioning, Iroquois Nationals have consistently ranked among the top five.

In 2010, the Iroquois Nationals were denied participation in the World Championships due to host country England refusing the team to travel on their on their Haudenosaunee passports. They had completed in the previous World Championships starting in 1990 and had placed in the top 5 in each Championship.

The Iroquois Nationals are models for tribal Nations in exercising tribal sovereignty. It is a powerful statement to see an all-Native athletic team competing, in a game that it helped develop, on an international level representing its own tribal Nation. It would be good to see other tribal Nations exercise their tribal sovereignty and start competing teams and individuals (Olympics), in different sports.

Let us show the Iroquois Nationals our support in their attempt to capture the gold. For full schedule go to: http://www.worldlacrosse2014.com/landing/index

By: Matt Remle
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