When I talked about family structures with Beauvais, I heard something similar. Describing her efforts on Akwesasne, she says, “This is about family. We are creating a system of family, not an institutional program. We are giving people roles and responsibilities as family members of a community.” While families come in many forms, she is steadfast in her belief that family and kinship are essential to a community’s self-sustenance and sovereignty. It’s what gives her hope when standing up to a history of exploitation.
The Desert Dogs will host “Indigenous Heritage Night” on February 4, when the defending champion Colorado Mammoth visit Michelob ULTRA Arena. The event will include performances from groups presented in consultation with Native American tribes of Nevada. In addition, complimentary tickets and transportation to the February 4 contest will be provided to Indigenous and Native communities, in coordination with the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation.
Separate from their relationship with the Desert Dogs, the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation has previously donated a permanent lacrosse box and 700 lacrosse sticks to the Iroquois National Development Program, of which some residents of the aforementioned Akwesasne community are a part of.
By Sam Laskaris
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
The Mohawk community of Akwesasne in eastern Ontario is making plans to welcome some of the top lacrosse players around.
Three clubs that participate in the National Lacrosse League (NLL), the world’s top professional box lacrosse circuit, will head to Akwesasne to play some exhibition games next month from Nov. 11 to Nov. 13.
Taking part will be the Halifax Thunderbirds, San Diego Seals and the Las Vegas Desert Dogs, an expansion franchise preparing for its inaugural campaign which begins in December.
The squads will play two games each in Akwesasne. All matches will be staged at the A’nowara’ko:wa Arena.
The 1,500-seat facility is located on the Ontario side of Akwesasne. The Mohawk community extends into the province of Quebec and also the state of New York.
Officials from the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation are hosting the exhibition tournament.
Friday’s Cornwall Jr. C Celtics game at the Benson Centre saw a special donation take place, made possible through the proceeds of the Celtic’s home opener.
A cheque for $900 was presented to representatives of Strong Roots Charitable Foundation, which is an organization focused on developing community initiatives to improve life for Akwesasne elders and youth.
“Indigenous people created this beautiful game of lacrosse that we love and… we kind of wanted to do something to give back to their community,” explained co-manager of the Jr. C Celtics, Carrie Cooper, with fellow co-manager, Laurie Williams, by her side. “So we looked for different charitable organizations and came across Strong Roots.”
Cooper and Williams are very inspired by Strong Roots’ initiatives. This includes when, in 2015, Strong Roots put a roof over the Travis Solomon Memorial Lacrosse Box located in Generations Park, and when Strong Roots donated 700 lacrosse sticks to support the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Program.
SAN DIEGO — The playoff-bound San Diego Seals and the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation have partnered to share the “fastest game on two feet” with Indigenous people throughout the Southern California area. Currently just a half-game back of Colorado for the West Division lead in the National Lacrosse League, the Seals are inviting tribal members to join them for FREE as they make a run for the 2022 NLL Championship — thanks to the generosity of Strong Roots.
The San Diego Seals will recognize the history and Indigenous roots of the game of lacrosse, called Tewaaraton (deh-wa-al-la-doon) in the Mohawk language. Commonly referred to as “The Creators Game” among the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois People), the game gives thanks to the Creator for the gift of lacrosse, which also serves as a medicine game that seeks good health and strong minds for individuals and the overall Indigenous community.
“Lacrosse has provided a positive outlet and an important path for myself and many other Indigenous youth in my home community of Six Nations on the Grand River,” said Seals star forward Austin Staats (Mohawk). “It also helps unite our communities and provides good medicine during some of our most difficult of times.”
Members of an Indigenous or First Nations community are welcome to attend at no cost and to cheer on the Seals in the West Division Semifinal at Pechanga Arena San Diego (3500 Sports Arena Blvd., San Diego, CA 92110), with ticket costs covered by the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation. The game will be played on either Saturday, May 7 (at 7:00pm) or Sunday, May 8 (at 6:00pm), and the opponent is still to be determined. To claim your free ticket, visit SealsLax.com/Creator. Indigenous people must present a tribal membership/enrollment card, status card, or other identification for verification.
Based in the Mohawk community of Akwesasne along the Canada-United States border in Northern New York State, the Strong Roots Charitable Foundation has been supporting initiatives that help improve the wellbeing of Indigenous peoples since 2015. They are pleased to support the San Diego Seals professional lacrosse team in their desire to help share The Creators Game with Indigenous communities located in Southern California and elsewhere.
“We are honored to partner with the San Diego Seals and to continue the Haudenosaunee’s long tradition of sharing the gift of lacrosse with the world,” stated Strong Roots Foundation Board Member, Dianna Tarbell. “We welcome and appreciate the opportunity to share its deep cultural and historical significance as a medicine game with all of our Indigenous brothers and sisters.”
The Strong Roots Charitable Foundation is a 501c3 organization. To learn more, please visit them online at www.strongroots.org.
About San Diego Seals The playoff-bound San Diego Seals are a team in the 35-year-old National Lacrosse League (NLL), the world’s only professional box lacrosse league. The league ranks third in average attendance for professional indoor sports worldwide, behind the NBA and NHL. The Seals play their home games at Pechanga Arena San Diego, the city’s leading destination for sporting events, family shows and live entertainment. For more information, visit SealsLax.com or follow the Seals @SealsLax on social media.