Central New York, Community, Sports

Lacrosse could be in the Olympics- but what does this mean for Iroquois Nationals?

lacrosse script

By Ashtyn Hiron ONONDAGA NATION (N.Y.) —¬†The International Olympic Committee granted provisional recognition to lacrosse last week. Making it a possibility that lacrosse could be considered for the 2028 Olympic games. However, the IOC does not currently acknowledge the Iroquois nation as a country, meaning they could miss out on this opportunity.

60 nations are currently playing lacrosse around the world, but the people from the Iroquois confederacy are the originators of the modern game.

Neal Powless from the Onondaga nation played for the Iroquois Nationals for 16 years, he said that indigenous people need to be considered on the venture to make lacrosse an Olympic sport.

“I want to know what native people are sitting at that table to have those conversations with those countries, or with those development programs, so that a piece of understanding of where the game comes from is included in the development of the game,” he said.

Powless was a part of the Iroquois Nationals first team win and the first Iroquois Nationals to make an All-World team.

“To know that the opportunity might be there to actually win an Olympic medal, is pretty amazing,” Powless said. “To know that it’s a really¬† viable possibility that it would’t just be a bronze medal, depending on the rules and what the game looks like, and some of these rule changes might even help Iroquois Nationals in a hint of irony, which I think is even more brilliant”)

If the Iroquois Nationals weren’t acknowledged by the IOC, Powless said he doesn’t think they would play anywhere else.

“As an Iroquois Nationals member myself , i wouldn’t play, and i wouldn’t play if I wasn’t acknowledged as an Iroquois Nationals in some way as a competitor”)

Kent Lyons from the Onondaga Nation, and an Iroquois Nationals player said he has been watching the game grow over the years and expected this change to happen.

” Being recognized as a true and bonafide country would speak volumes to us as originators of the game,” said Lyons.

National and international federations are having continuing discussions about field specifications, and rule changes that would happen for the game to be considered into the Olympics.