Steve Russell: Iroquois Nationals took one for all of Indian Country
"It’s hard to predict what the media will notice. Which brings me to the gang that recently took a big hit for the Indian team: The Iroquois Nationals.

As readers of this paper know, from July forward there has been major coverage of the Iroquois Nationals by wire services as well as all the major television networks. It’s a splendid irony that the media can’t pass up: The inventors of a game that existed before there were nation-states on the American continent unable to play in a championship without flying the false colors of Canada or the U.S.

Yes, I meant to say “false.” Yes, I’m aware that when the U.S. and Canada go to war, Indians always show up and fight. That’s called protecting your home. But when the Iroquois Nationals play lacrosse, they play to win – and the U.S. and Canadian teams do not get a free pass.

By refusing to travel on false documents, the Iroquois Nationals lost a chance to compete that had to be heartbreaking for them. You don’t just get on an airplane to play for a championship. You train for it and concentrate on it for months. This is why I say the Nationals took one for all Indians.

People who didn’t think of it before have had cause to reflect that the Haudenosaunee antedate the U.S. Articles of Confederation, let alone the Constitutions of the U.S. or Canada, both 18th century documents."

Get the Story:
Steve Russell: Lacrosse as a kick in the pants (Indian Country Today 9/6)

Related Stories:
Steve Russell: Indian mother takes on county over inmate suicide (8/6)
Steve Russell: Brown people should stay away from Arizona (5/24)
Steve Russell: Don't head to Arizona without your 'papers' (4/28)
Steve Russell: Tribes stronger standing together (11/13)
Steve Russell: Women behind all life's successes (10/15)
Steve Russell: Tribal governments must step up (7/3)
Steve Russell: Support for Native Hawaiians (6/16)
Steve Russell: Fighting the fake Indians in tribal court (6/5)
Steve Russell: Ward Churchill faces a third jury (5/28)
Steve Russell: Advice for a younger version of me (3/27)
Steve Russell: Accepting Obama on tribalism (2/27)
Steve Russell: Indian Country ripe for change (12/30)
Steve Russell: Indians slighted in every election (9/19)
Steve Russell: Being indigenous good for the fakers (9/5)
Steve Russell: Everybody knows everything (8/1)
Steve Russell: Family violence docket an ugly one (6/27)
Steve Russell: The Indian view on climate change (5/30)
Steve Russell: Odds and ends and current events (4/21)
Steve Russell: Addressing ethnic frauds (4/4)
Steve Russell: Struggles in an Indian education (3/14)
Steve Russell: Cherokee Nation and assimilation (2/29)
Steve Russell: Cherokee Nation breaks its word (2/8)
Steve Russell: Indian voters a voice for change (2/1)
Steve Russell: The Indian law Hall of Shame (1/11)
Steve Russell: Social capital in Indian Country (12/28)
Steve Russell: Cherokee constitutional crisis (12/14)
Steve Russell: The price of 'sovereignty' (11/23)
Steve Russell: Getting along in Indian Country (11/9)
Steve Russell: Life lessons from a poker game (10/26)