You are here
Home > Editorial > Iroquois Nationals still a work in progress

Iroquois Nationals still a work in progress

The Creator’s Game is more than just a sport for the Haudenosaunee, who know what it means to compete under their own flag and with their own passports. (Courtesy Tracy Rector)

After a delay due to proudly using their own passports, the Iroquois Nationals finally made it to the big dance and won bronze –third in the world, once again, in field lax.

And with that, it brought a heap of pride to our communities. Us, a tiny collection of six small but powerful nations, taking on the world.

But now we will say it here and say it loud – we expect more. That’s just how sport is.

The fact this team is so heavily steeped in politics it can never just play the game, means every move comes with much more pressure than any other nation.

It is, after all, our game.

Twenty years ago, it was an amazing feat to even finish fourth, but the talent pool in our tiny Haudenosaunee Confederacy – compared to the millions of people in any other given country – has basically caught up to our opponents.

With players like the Thompsons, Tehoka Nanticoke and Austin Staats, not to mention the old guard who are now helping to coach or manage the newer generation, the Iroquois Nationals are world class; now they need to up the ante and own their rightful place at the top of the Creator’s game.

Politics aside – for now – it comes down to money, practice and discipline.

The team got together a couple of times to familiarize themselves with each other for this tourney, but that’s not enough.

They need more hard, structured practices that challenge them as much as the US or Canada always do.

They need to prepare much earlier, that’s a given. They need dedicated space, much more money and flexibility, and they need to push hard to beat the US and Canada consistently.

They also need to select our best players, regardless of political leanings or that dreaded word blood quantum, as a few notables were left off the team – there’s that word politics again.

The window to catch the US and Canada is now. The Thompsons are in their prime, the team is chock-full of the best talent it has ever had, and the gold is there for the taking.

The excuse given for the World Lacrosse Championship is it’s not box lacrosse – something they all grew up playing, and are, frankly, better at.

However they had a chance in the heart of Onondaga Territory a few years back, in the box at the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship, and although they were awesome – winning silver – they lost a golden opportunity.

They had caught up to the big boys, but they were hesitant to shoot at times. Their passes were errant. Then there is the penalty box – our local teams know the effect that has on a team if you can’t stay out of it.

They, for whatever reason, missed their best opportunity to beat their long-time colonial foes.

But there will be another time.

And one day they will win gold, in both field and box.

We’re not trying to downplay the sweet bronze medal, not at all. It’s an amazing accomplishment of such a small pool of players to achieve.

Now is the time, this time is ours.

Fans – Native and non-Native alike – want them to win.

Even if they beat Canada or the US for gold on the field or in the box, people who understand the history of the game and the destiny such a coveted win would bring, would surely cheer them on.

Go get ’em boys!

The lacrosse stick is something that comes with added significance, medicine and historical resonance to any of the Iroquois who hold it. (Megan Whyte, The Eastern Door)

Steve Bonspiel

The Eastern Door

 

With rising printing costs, overhead and inflation, community newspapers like The Eastern Door are finding it increasingly more difficult to keep afloat. But here’s a way you can help: Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid archive of our cherished history. Your kind donation will go towards a paper that stands as equal parts historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news, colourful stories, as well as a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers. Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake, Akwesasne or Chateauguay. We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing something. E-transfers are accepted at: [email protected] Niawenhkó:wa, thank you for your support!
Top

Dear Readers:

As an essential service that is still open during the COVID-19 pandemic, The Eastern Door is fighting hard to keep news like this flowing, in our print product, though an online subscription at www.eastermdoor.com and here, for free, on our website and Facebook.

But when a large portion of our regular revenue has disappeared due to so many other businesses being closed, our circulation being affected by the same issue, and all of our specials canceled until the end of the year, we are looking for alternative ways to keep operations going, staff paid, and the paper out every Friday for you to enjoy.

Please consider a financial contribution to help us keep doing what we do best; telling the stories of our people in a contemporary medium – a solid, continuing archive that documents our cherished, shared history. Your kind donation will go to a newspaper that stands as the historical record, in-depth, informative and award-winning news; colourful stories, and a big boost to the local economy by employing 95 percent local workers.

Also, please consider subscribing to our e-edition, which comes out Thursday night, at www.easterndoor.com today, or pick up your copy Friday morning in Kahnawake, Kanesatake or Chateauguay. Akwesasne delivery has been suspended due to the pandemic and border issues.

We exercise real freedom of the press every single day. Without our reporters fighting for the truth our community would be missing a whole lot of facts, separated from gossip and rumors.

E-transfers are accepted and very much appreciated at: [email protected]

Maintained By WordPress Website Support