On June 9, the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) will be holding a special ballot regarding the Iroquois Nationals omission from the Blue Division in the upcoming 2014 World Lacrosse Championships in Denver. Gewas Schindler, the General Manager of Iroquois Nationals writes an open letter to the 28 voting members of the FIL seeking support to reject of the bylaw which prohibits the Nationals from participation in the Blue Division. (Related: Iroquois Nationals Penalized Again for Being Native?)
Skanonh FIL Membership,
The Haudenosaunee Iroquois Nationals respectfully submit this letter to the membership of the Federation of International Lacrosse and urge you to reject the May 10th FIL Postal Ballot.
The Iroquois Nationals are encouraged by the constructive dialogue and excellent recommendations that emerged and were exchanged amongst the various National Teams, organizations, fans from across the world, and athletes on the issue of ensuring that the WLC 2014 Blue Division include the Iroquois Nationals. This discourse demonstrated the strong and widely held belief that the WLC 2014 Blue Division should positively and accurately reflect the reputable institution which connects us all – lacrosse.
The Postal Ballot, the current ballot before the membership, has mischaracterized the Iroquois Nationals’ appeal of the FIL-BOD’s February 2013 decision to remove the Iroquois Nationals from the Blue Division for the WLC 2014.
Three years ago, the Iroquois Nationals were barred from participating in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships. This unfortunate occurrence, while a political manipulation of sorts, was not the fault of any organization or institution of lacrosse. Therefore, we have to ask ourselves, as representatives, builders, and athletes of national organizations- what do we want to leave behind for the generations that will follow our work?
We are connected through this great game of Dehontjihgwa’es – Lacrosse and have all held a lacrosse stick in our hands, either for recreation, organized play, or for teaching our children. We have an opportunity before us to change lacrosse history today and forever.
Under the present circumstances, the Iroquois Nationals are barred from playing the game they inspirit and shared with the world at the appropriate level of lacrosse competitiveness, barred from the WLC2014 Blue Division.
I speak from personal experience and the benefit of a lacrosse career that includes NCAA national championship tournaments, professional lacrosse, and representing the national lacrosse team of my country. I have and will always treasure my selection as a member of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, and presently honor the work, which the Iroquois Nationals has bestowed to me, as General Manager of the 2014 National Team.
What is the right thing to do? As a national team representative, you are lacrosse athletes, builders, or enthusiasts, and as such, we are bound by the sport, which sets high standards not only for the competition of the game, but also for the quality of lacrosse camaraderie and fair play.
I will leave you with a quote from a Hall of fame goaltender and founder of the Haudenosaunee Iroquois Nationals organization, Oren Lyons, who once said,
“We are an ancient people – we have seen a lot, been through a lot and yet
we are still here. Seven Generations ago our people were looking out for us.
Now it is our duty, and honor, and our privilege to look after the next
seven generations coming.”
We are members of this great community of lacrosse, it is our duty to look after the games of lacrosse – review what we have created, and leave what is right for the next seven generations of lacrosse athletes and builders. We have a lot of work left to do for the game of lacrosse and positioning the Iroquois Nationals out of the Blue Division is not what we want to leave as the legacy of the FIL membership. Please reject the current FIL May 10th Postal Ballot and support the originators of our great game. Done:toh.
Gewas Schindler, General Manager
Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse