Today, November 28, the United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs honored the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse club. As ICTMN's West Coast Editor Valerie Taliman reported in July, the Nationals Under-19 squad won the bronze medal at the Federation of International Lacrosse 2012 U19 World Championships in Finland–and they scored a historic win over the powerful U.S. team in the process.
Here is the statement issued by the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs on its Facebook page.
Today we honor the Iroquois Nationals, the first Native American lacrosse team to compete internationally in a professional sport. The team was created in 1983 and is represented by the six Nations of the Iroquois (Oneida, Mohawk, Onondaga, Seneca, Tuscarora and Cayuga). The Iroquois people are known for creating the sport of lacrosse itself and it is central to their social, spiritual and cultural heritage. In 1990 the Iroquois Nationals were admitted to the International Lacrosse Federation and have been competing in the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship since it first began in 2003. The games, held every four years, have given the team the opportunity to travel around the world to compete against nations including Australia and Canada. They have competed in all three of the games medaling in each. Most recently they took silver in the 2011 Prague games. They have also qualified to play in the World Lacrosse Championship since 1998, taking fourth each time. In 2012 they traveled to Finland for the World Championship and came in third, despite beating England and the USA. In 2006 the Iroquois Nationals partnered with Nike who is sponsoring programs to promote wellness-and-fitness activities in Native American communities throughout the region, as well as provide lacrosse equipment and sportswear for the team. The Iroquois Nationals program has had a significant impact on Native youth throughout the country as their triumphs have provided an international showcase of indigenous talent and culture.