Friday, March 1, 2013

We Stand Together Fact #5

Hi Sheena,
Thanks for choosing to stand together! Here is Daily Fact #5:
In 1843, a group from Montreal became the first settlers to challenge a First Nations team in the First Nations sport of lacrosse. The Mohawk players won.

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Lacrosse is one of Canada’s national sports. It was invented as early as the 12th century by First Nations Peoples and was played across North America. The game originally involved hundreds of players and would continue for several days.

The French called the game “Lacrosse,” referring to the curved wooden stick that players used. Various First Nations’ terms reflected the way the sport was played, including “Dehuntshigwa’es” in the Onondaga language, meaning “men hit a rounded object” and “Tewaarathon” in the Mohawk language, meaning “little brother of war”. Rooted in legend and spiritual tradition, the game was also used to settle arguments between tribes, to build the strength and skill of young warriors and to celebrate and give thanks to the Gods. Players would take part in a spiritual ceremony to get ready for the game. This was similar to the way they would prepare for war.

During the early 19th century, lacrosse began to draw the attention of not only the North American settlers, but Europeans as well. It wasn’t until the 1980s, however, that First Nations teams were allowed to enter international competitions, beginning with the Iroquois Nationals team representing the Haudenosaunee (the Iroquois Confederacy). Today, lacrosse is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, with more than half a million players around the world.

For more info, check out:
Thomas Vennum Jr. American Indian Lacrosse: Little Brother of War

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1 comment:

  1. The Canadian Encyclopedia has an interesting article on the history of lacrosse, too: