With lacrosse being added to the 2028 Olympics in Los Angeles, it is only right that the group of people who invented the sport get an invite too. President Joe Biden has offered his support to the Haudenosaunee lacrosse team to get into the Olympics and represent themselves, their culture, and their flag at the Olympics.
The Haudenosaunee Confederacy is a group of indigenous people from six different tribes — the Mohawks, Senecas, Tuscarora, Oneidas, Onondagas, and Cayugas. They are credited with inventing the game of lacrosse over 1,000 years ago. The confederacy has been able to compete in international competition since 1990 and has some of the best lacrosse players in the world on their teams, including Lyle Thompson and Jalyn Jimerson.
“Recognition of the cultural significance of lacrosse to the Haudenosaunee people and the Haudenosaunee people to lacrosse is an important step in our Olympic journey,” said the Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse organization.
Every year since 1990, the Haudenosaunee has been competing in the World Lacrosse Championship, but because they aren’t a country of their own, the road to L.A. might be longer than it should be, with a few bumps in between.
While the International Olympic Committee honors territories such as Puerto Rico and allows them to compete, the Haudenosaunee might have to compete in multiple sports and not just on the lacrosse field. Additionally, since the Confederacy is located in both the U.S. and Canada, the Olympic committees of both countries also have to come to an agreement.
“Rarely does an organizing committee have the opportunity to include a sport in its program that has such an important history as lacrosse does with the Indigenous peoples of North America,” said a spokesperson for the LA28 organizing committee. “As the originators of the game, the Haudenosaunee Nationals Lacrosse Organization is recognized as a full member by World Lacrosse. LA28 is excited to work with all stakeholders to find a solution that honors the sport’s heritage and allows participation for Haudenosaunee Lacrosse athletes while respecting the Olympic Games framework established by the IOC.”
Including the Haudenosaunee lacrosse team in the 2028 Olympics would not only be a historic moment but also a way to recognize and honor the indigenous people who gave birth to this incredible sport. It would be an opportunity to celebrate their culture, traditions, and contributions to the world of lacrosse. Let us hope that the necessary agreements and arrangements can be made to ensure their participation in this prestigious event.