Global Montreal: The McGill varsity team and Kahnawake Survival School recreate ‘old time’ lacrosse game ( By Dan Spector Global News) Lacrosse is celebrating 150 years and to mark the occasion, a special game between the McGill varsity team, and the team from the Kahnawake Survival School took place on the lower field of McGill University. The teams were dressed the way players would have dressed to play in 1867.Players wore long underwear while referees sported full suits and top hats.
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“This is what kept me connected to my past,” Tewenhni’tátshon Louis Delisle said through tears holding his wooden stick above his head. “Through the language of my elders, that’s the only thing that you could say kept our identity at those times.”
“I feel proud to be part of the sport of lacrosse and not just as a Native,” Delisle said. “This all-encompassing game was given to us by the Creator so that the whole world should enjoy it. It’s extremely important that we’re looking at the roots of the game, it was a Native pastime and sport and culture to train young men to have endurance, strength and toughness.”
“It’s so important that we educate the lacrosse world on the history, the First Nations’ contribution to the history of the game, and how it turned into the modern game in 1867,” said Jim Calder, who played for Canada in 1978 and 1982. “Kahnawake and the Montreal Lacrosse Club traveled to England three times and spread the game through the British empire through those three trips, so it was a cooperative effort to get the sport worldwide. … It’s a good time for everyone to remember where this thing came from.”
“It helps to show people that we’re not gone, we’re still very much alive,” said Stick maker Travis Gabriel from the Mohawk community of Kanesatake “Just that thought alone makes me happy.”
“I go around and talk about how the sticks are made to a lot of people all over the country in the United States and some in Canada, and I see that everybody wants to know,” Alf Jacques from Onondaga said. “They want a taste of that, the mystique, that spiritual game that the Natives play. They want a taste of that. They want a piece of that. They want wooden sticks, and want to know more about that traditional game all over the country.”