The Lax-4-Life camp on the Fond Du Lac reservation

The Lax-4-Life camp on the Fond Du Lac reservation

A Worthy Goal: Lake Superior Chippewa Tribe and U. of Minnesota Sign Lacrosse Agreement

The lacrosse camp on the Fond du Lac Reservation in Minnesota has been going strong for two-years now.  Kids have not only gotten a chance to improve their skills in the creator’s game, but also improve their lives—exercise, team-building, and healthy decision-making. Bryan “Bear” Bosto, the organizer of the camp and manager of the Brookston Community Center on the reservation, told the Duluth News Tribune that the camp is clearly about more than learning lacrosse, it’s about learning “life lessons.”  The camp serves American Indian teenagers from multiple tribes, and Bosto found himself being honored as a “Champion for Change” at the White House for his work with the camp.

Which helped University of Minnesota Duluth Chancellor Lynn Black seek amenable to seeking out housing money for the camp when Bosto approached her. So it came with a great sense of accomplishment for Bosto and his staff when last Friday, university and tribal officials signed an agreement stating that the university will pay $10,000 a year for the next five years for housing at the camp.  The Office for Equity and Diversity and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences are the source for the funds.

“The University of Minnesota has a long history of engagement with the tribal nations of Minnesota,” Bosto told the Tribune . “We appreciate this opportunity and look forward to the partnership.”

The boys and girls who attend the camp get lacrosse training from serious talents.  The Minnesota Swarm lacrosse team coaches the boys while the Hamline University female lacrosse team coaches the girls. Diabetes, obesity and nutrition issues are taught to the kids by Fond du Lac’s health and human services workers. The U.S. Marshalls have also made their presence felt at the camp, working with the Native American Law Enforcement Summit, and this year Minnesota’s Army National Guard is sponsoring the camp.

“We’re always interested in providing youth with positive activities,” said Karen Diver, chairwoman of the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, to the Tribune. “To give them access to other role models, to other professions and to build community … and their own personal strength and health.”

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