The 4th annual Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival takes place in late September as a way to keep the original spirit of lacrosse alive and well. Since so many current lacrosse players know so little about the true history of lacrosse, events like this are crucial for keeping the history alive. Education through example is a beautiful way for lacrosse to come full circle in this modern age. By learning about the way lacrosse was first played and honoring the Indigenous values that kept lacrosse alive for ages, we can keep lacrosse from falling out of touch with what makes it a medicine game. We learned a little about the festival, the tournament, and Indigenous Values at LaxCon 2019 from Clay and Croy, two players who help the event be so…eventful.
Indigenous Lacrosse: The History of Lacrosse Reborn for Today
Lacrosse needs to keep its own past alive through events like the 4th annual Haudenosaunee Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival & Randy Hall Memorial Tournament from Indigenous Values. Without real education through experience, the history of lacrosse will become a diluted piece of the past.
Modern lacrosse is already so very different from the original game. Now, this is not a bad thing, but changing most of the game and not remembering the way it used to be is wrong. The history of lacrosse is the only reason why we have the modern game; without the origins of lacrosse, we’d probably be forced to play baseball in the Spring. So revamp your excitement for the fastest, and most historic, game on two feet by learning about its true origins at the Haudenosaunee Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival.
Indigenous Values & What They Do
Indigenous Values is an organization devoted to helping the world understand the true values of the Onondaga Nation. The Onondaga Nation is one of six nations in the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a collection of Indigenous Peoples in a peaceful collaboration of sovereign government recognized by the United Nations. The multiple nations within the Haudenosaunee Confederacy all work with the Indigenous Values Initiative in an effort to educate the present population about their ancient values.
The Haudenosaunee have survived as a people, despite the destructive effects of genocide, colonization, and assimilation, and are working to share the enduring values they have maintained. Their insight and values are focused on living with the Earth and preventing further harm to our planet. Respect and appreciation for the health of our planet have long been part of their way of living but the necessity for it has become far more apparent in the modern age. These values are shared by the Haudenosaunee through their educational initiatives and instilled into the participants of events like the Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival & Randy Hall Memorial Tournament.
4th Annual Haudenosaunee Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival
On September 28th and 29th, 2019, there will be the 4th Haudenosaunee Wooden Lacrosse Stick Festival held in Liverpool, New York. This festival is for appreciating how lacrosse began and learning about the values the game was created to teach. Any player of any age would learn a lot by taking the time to attend this festival.
Lacrosse is still ceremonially played as a medicine game, and the original way to play lacrosse necessitates wooden lacrosse sticks. The lacrosse stick itself is traditionally made from a living Hickory tree so that the stick may contain the spirit of the tree. That tree then lives on through the game of lacrosse, or Deyhontsigwa’ehs, and never truly stops being part of our world. This transfer comes full circle when Indigenous people were traditionally buried with a wooden lacrosse stick. After death, becoming part of Mother Earth eventually leads to more trees; and in turn, more sticks.
Learning Lacrosse from the Land of Its Origin
You can still walk on as a team or an individual for the Randy Hall Masters Wooden Lacrosse Stick tournament, and attending the festival, in general, is always an option. Anyone interested in registering can do so on the Indigenous Values website and plan to attend an unforgettable weekend. There will be plenty of opportunities to meet other lacrosse enthusiasts, Indigenous historians and activists, and friendly faces looking to enjoy lacrosse. All of these people will be gathered at Onondaga Lake because of the work that Randy Hall did to return the festival to where the game was originally played.
The best part about all the people coming together is that it will be in the name of preserving the history of Indigenous Lacrosse with some of the most impressive wooden lacrosse sticks on the planet. You can learn more about which specific Stickmakers will be in attendance this year by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or following them on Instagram at @indigenousvalues.