With Lacrosse Championship in Israel, Iroquois Team Navigates International Politics

The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team is caught between a rock and a hard place in this year’s World Lacrosse Championships. And the games haven’t even started yet.

Lacrosse is a traditional Native American sport and a source of pride. Palestinians are calling on the Iroquois Nationals team to withdraw from the games, which are being held in Israel. At the same time, Iroquois team can’t get into Israel because the Israeli government isn’t recognizing team member’s use of Iroquois-issued passports.

Lacrosse is a traditional Native American game. (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

The group Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel is asking the Iroquois Nationals Team to withdraw from the World Championship in solidarity, as both the Palestinian and Iroquois lands are occupied by a colonizing forces and both have suffered from ethnic cleansing, it said.

The Iroquois Nationals decided to participate in the championships, saying the team believes that Lacrosse is a healing game and medicine.

But when the Iroquois Team tried to leave Canada for Israel, it hit a roadblock. It was traveling using Haudenosaunee passports, an expression of national indigenous sovereignty, Those passports were not acceptable to get into Israel — so far.

(Quick background from the Haudenousaunee website: “Called the Iroquois Confederacy by the French, and the League of Five Nations by the English, the confederacy is properly called the Haudenosaunee Confederacy meaning People of the long house. …. The confederacy, made up of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas was intended as a way to unite the nations and create a peaceful means of decision making.”)

The Iroquois Nationals team is supposed to play its first game on Thursday. According to a posting on the Iroquois Nationals team website today: “The team returned to Haudenosaunee Territory and was on the field practicing in Six Nations on Tuesday morning while awaiting resolution” of the passport issue.

Here are articles with more details.

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