Providence, Rhode Island - Brown University is pleased to host Oren Lyons, National Lacrosse Hall of Fame player, Onondaga Turtle Clan Faithkeeper, and University of Buffalo faculty member to speak about the cultural and spiritual role of lacrosse, "the little brother of war," as a way of maintaining international tribal relations, and in contemporary times the role this game has played in the debates around tribal communities as sovereign nations within the borders of the US and Canada. Lyons will speak at an open forum on Friday, February 17 from 4:00 pm to 6:00 p.m. at the Granoff Center, located in the heart of the Brown campus. All are invited to attend.
The lecture is a precursor for an exhibition match-up between the Iroquois U-19 National Team against the Brown men's lacrosse team on Saturday, February 18 at 12:00 noon on Meister-Kavan Field.
Lyons is an award winning internationally renowned speaker, who is a founding member of the Indigenous Peoples Conference of the United Nations High Commission for Human Rights; a member of the board of the Harvard Project on American Economic Development; and recipient of the Ellis Island Congressional Medal of Honor, the National Audubon Award, the First Annual Earth Day International Award of the United Nations, and the Elder and Wiser Award of the Rosa Parks Institute for Human Rights.
The Iroquois National team is the only Native American team authorized to play a sport internationally. The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) accepted the Iroquois Confederacy as a full member nation in 1987, and they participated in their first competition in 1990. Since then, the Nationals have proven their mettle. "The game is absolutely still a big part of our culture," said Ansley Jemison, general manager of the Iroquois Nationals. "We are very proud to represent our nation." As part of the agreement with the FIL, Native Americans from other tribes are also eligible to tryout and play for the Nationals.
Despite recent difficulties with customs, the Nationals continue to cement a presence in international lacrosse. The squad recently travelled to Hawaii to compete at a tournament, which marked the first meeting of the indigenous Hawaiian players with the Iroquois. The team has previously travelled to other tournaments around the world to represent the Iroquois Confederacy, finding little to no trouble with regards to restricted movement.