1999 Iroquois Nationals
In the summer of 1999, the Iroquois Nationals participated in the U19 World Lacrosse Games in Adelaide, Australia. It was a privilege to represent my community, Akwesasne, as well as the Iroquois Nationals on the world platform playing Tewa’a:raton or lacrosse. Drew Bucktooth, Delby Powless and myself were co-captains and it was a great honor not only to help lead the incredible talent that was comprised of our team, but to also stand alongside players who I have incredible respect for on the lacrosse field.
As young men, this was the first time for many of us to be able to participate in playing the game we love, the gift from the Creator, on the international level. That year we brought home the bronze, and a big component of that was the amazing coaching staff from some of the greatest in the game, along with the natural talent that the team was comprised of. This is evident as many of the players from that team went on to have successful and long careers in lacrosse on a professional level.
While in Australia, we were truly overwhelmed at the amount of support we received from many of the teams across the world, but particularly the Australian Aboriginal community. This is just a prime example of how lacrosse can truly unify people; regardless if it is between neighbors playing the game together or people who live on opposite sides of the world and have entirely different cultures. I am forever thankful for my experience that I had participating in the games and the lifelong friendships that were forged.
Nia:wen to all that continue to support our young Onkwehonwe lacrosse players. I am so proud of how much the game has grown and the amazing talent that is on display from our people. I am confident that one day the Iroquois Nationals will bring home the gold to our people and the entire world will recognize the original creators of the medicine game.