The Creator’s Game: A History of Lacrosse

Reprinted with the permission of
The North American Indian Traveling College, Akwesasne, 2005.

The ancient game of Lacrosse was given to our people by the Creator for his amusement. The origins of lacrosse are not know, we the people only know that our ancestors have been playing the game for centuries – for the Creator.

The game for our ancestors was at one time more than just a way of getting in shape or for entertainment. It was a game of thanksgiving to everything that the Creator gave his children here on Mother Earth. The game of lacrosse was played to show the Creator that his children were glad to be here on Earth and gave thanks that they were blessed enough to be able to play the Creator’s game.

The game of Lacrosse is demanding on its participants. In earlier times, the players would train for months to play in the games. Because the game was seen as a gift from the Creator to the people, the training was not like the work or a burden - it was enjoyed by the players.

Lacrosse also became a medicine game, used when a member of the Nation was ill. The medicine people would prepare the remedies and administer them to the sick, and then they would call for a game of lacrosse to be played. He game would be played to draw the powers of Mother Earth. The game was played to show the Creator that they had not forgotten him or his teachings.

To truly understand why Native peoples played the game of Lacrosse with such heart and willingness, one would need to understand their beliefs in life and the way they lived and respected those things found here on Mother Earth.


2006 Iroquois Nations Cup

By Shannon Burns
Reprinted with permission

The sport most played and most loved in Akwesasne was in full swing this past weekend for the 2006 Iroquois Nations Cup, hosted this year by the Mohawks of Akwesasne. Eight teams in all, including three “Akwesasne” teams, vied for the championship trophy, which was eventually awarded to the Ohsweken Aces in a blowout finale.

The All- Native tournament is a fan favorite as it moves from territory to territory each year. The first Nation’s Cup was held in Akwesasne in 1997 and from there it went to Six Nations, back to Akwesasne, then to Onondaga, Six Nations and back to Akwesasne again.

Fifteen games were held in all over a four-day period this weekend. The eight teams were the Ohsweken Aces, Rez Runners, Island Redmen, Snake Island Muskies, Frog Pond Maulers, Pinewood Smoke, St. Regis Indians, and Kahnawake Mohawks/Sturgeon Bellies.

The best games were unarguable the first game match up between the Snake Island Muskies and the Island Redman, and the Akwesasne match up between the St. Regis Indians and Snake Island Muskies in the fourteenth game. Both games ended with a one goal difference and had the crowds on the edge of their seats.

The championship game, played by the St. Regis Indians and Ohsweken Aces, appeared to be over by the second period. At the end of the first, the Aces had a 7-2 lead over the Indians, which jumped to a 14-3 lead by the end of the second. The final score was 17-5.

Although no Akwesasne team was able to take home the championship trophy, the tournament, hosted by the Iroquois Lacrosse Association, was a good end to the lacrosse season.

Team Iroquois Lacrosse

CLA PeeWee National Championship-Akwesasne Successful in 2006

Kariwate Mithcell,Quintin Matin,Tye Terrance,Kyle Lewis,Jake Bomberry,Zach Hopps,Thomas Hoggarth, Koby Johnson, Nolan Thomas, Greg Phillips, Raweras Mitchell, Brandon Brooks, Spencer Hill, Brendan Montour, Jordy Mitchell, Oakley Thomas, Adam Bomberry, Josh Johnson, Greg Longboat, Grayson Phillips, Andy Thomas, Dalston Day, Brandon Bomberry, Chris George, Seth Oakes, Akwi Phillips, Tyler Lafonte, Akwi David, Cam Bomberry,Blair M