Nya:weh Skano!!! My name is Ansley Jemison; I am an assistant coach and assistant general manager for the Under 19 Iroquois Nationals lacrosse program. I am also the Resident Hall Director for the American Indian Program’s Haudenosaunee themed dormitory, “Akwe:kon” at Cornell University. http://aip.cornell.edu/
The U19 Iroquois Nationals are traveling to Turku, Finland for the 2012 World Lacrosse Championships. Follow me as I blog my way through our trip. I am new to blogging, so please bear with me as I attempt to give you, the reader, an insider’s perspective. There are many aspects to this trip which may be of interest. First we are a completely Native American team comprised of Haudenosaunee (aka Iroquois) players and we are traveling on our own Passports issued through the Onondaga Nation. We will be competing against The United States, Canada, England, Australia, Germany, and several other countries fielding teams for this World Championship. The pool of players that we draw from reside in communities located within the United States and Canada, however because of the Native lineage of the players we compete as a sovereign Indigenous nation. The Haudenosaunee have always maintained sovereign citizenship and have been traveling internationally on our own passports since the 1970s.
To my knowledge we are the only Indigenous team that competes internationally in competition. The significance of this is the Haudenosaunee people are believed to be the originators of the game of Lacrosse. The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) recognizes the Haudenosaunee as a sovereign nation and endorses their membership for international competition.
I will give you more of a history on the game of lacrosse as I go along, however I want to keep this blog mostly about the journey. I want to give the perspective of the nervous anticipation for a trip of this magnitude – the journey that has taken place leading up to the competition. Many hours were spent setting up try-outs and organizing the trip itself. Securing travel documents and convincing the Finnish Government to recognize our Native-Issued Passports has been a challenge, however all of the red tape has been cleared and we are about to embark on an amazing path which in the end leads to Gold.