Iroquois National Lacrosse Team arrive, compete in Denver

courtesy Kenny Frost
courtesy Kenny Frost
courtesy Kenny Frost

On July 7, the Iroquois National Lacrosse team arrived in Denver for the welcoming ceremonies held at Denver East High school.

I, Kenny Frost, had the honor of welcoming them to Ute Country, as caretakers of this land long ago. An exchange of eagle feathers was made to Oren Lyons, Tray Shanandoah and to the head coach of the Iroquois Lacrosse team.

The Iroquois team consisted of over 30 players but only 27 could be registered on the roster, support staff, coaches, trainers. Before arrived to the welcoming ceremonies in Denver The Iroquois Nationals were in Vail, Colorado scrimmaging against various teams from around the world. 

The game of Lacrosse was born on the Six Nations confederation made of Six Nations of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and Tuscarora and known as the “The people of the Longhouse.” When a child is born they are given a lacrosse stick which they will have from the moment they are born until death as this stick with go with them into the after world. The children will learn to play lacrosse throughout their lives. 

The lacrosse games were held at Dick’s Sporting Good fields in Commerce City just north of the old Denver International airport. 

In 2010, England refused to allow the Iroquois Nationals into the country to complete at the world championships in Manchester, England. England refused to acknowedge the Iroquois passport yet they have been traveling with their own Iroquois passport over 30 years prior.

Due to this action the Iroquois Nationals fell in the world ranking and the Federation of International Lacrosse wouldn’t allow the Iroquois Nationals back into the blue division to complete with USA, Canada, England, Australia to name a few. The Iroquois Nationals had support from teams around the world to to be placed back into the world lacrosse games and to competition in the games. 

The Iroquois Nationals played England the first day of international competition, beating England.

What happen in the past was is in the past. “A bitter sweet victory,” stated one of the spectators from Australia. 

“What happen to the Iroquois shouldn’t have been allowed. I’m very happy the Iroquois won.”

Playing in a round robin tournament, the Iroquois Nationals played teams such as England, Australia, USA, Canada, Scotland and Japan. 

On the last day of competition the Iroquois Nationals played for the bronze medal against Australia and winning the bronze medal. While USA played against and lost to Canada.

Canada was awarded the gold medal and USA received the silver medal.

People travel from far away places to see the Iroquois Nationals – N.M., Washington, New York, Canada and as far away as Europe and Australia as well as the native communities from Denver and the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. 

If you want to see more of the pictures you can see them at www.facebook.com/IroquoisNationalsLacrosse. All my photos are posted on the National Iroquois page. 

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