Awehiyo Thomas (Beautiful Flower) is Cayuga Nation, Wolf Clan from Six Nations of the Grand River Territory. She played competitive lacrosse on the international, NCAA DI and professional stage, with many Player of the Game awards.
Awehiyo first started playing lacrosse in 1998 for Six Nations Girls Field Lacrosse, and later traveled to Cattaraugus, NY playing many years with the Seneca Girls Lacrosse Club under Sandy Jemison.
In 2003, she had her first international experience with U-19 Team Canada, finishing third and being named the third-leading scorer on the squad. Awehiyo was a walk-on starter at Syracuse University, who transferred from Canisius College in her junior year. She started all 21 games and helped the team to its first NCAA Final Four in 2008 - as a senior she started all 19 games and graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Health and Wellness.
Awehiyo was a proud member of the Haudenosaunee National Women’s Lacrosse (HNWL) Team for many years, competing on the world stage in 2009, 2013 and 2017. In 2018, she was the first Haudenosaunee woman to play professional lacrosse with the Baltimore Ride in the UWLX league. Most recently, she was a member of the HNWL Sr. Team which placed first at the Pan American Lacrosse Association in 2019.
As a veteran lacrosse player of 24 years and mother of four, soon to be mother of five, she continues to be a role model for many Indigenous girls coming up. She comes from a long line of great lacrosse players in her family including Grandfather Ivan Thomas, the 1997 Ontario Lacrosse Hall of Fame inductee and great-grandfather Joseph Logan Jr., maker of the “Logan Special” lacrosse stick.
To this day, Awehiyo’s lacrosse display at Woodland Cultural Center in Brantford, Ontario continues to be up for the public to view.
Photos: Reems Landreth and Awehiyo Thomas