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Native America Calling: Culture, athleticism and stickball
Monday, January 2, 2023

Stickball: culture and athleticism

Note: This is an encore presentation, so Native America Calling won’t be taking calls.

Stickball is the older, rougher cousin of lacrosse, developed many centuries ago as both a game and a training exercise.

The U.S. government once deemed stickball one of the cultural connections they needed to eliminate in the effort to assimilate Native children through missionary-run boarding schools. The game survived that assault and keeps gaining momentum, played by local clubs and in competitive national tournaments.

Today on Native America Calling, Shawn Spruce learns about the origins and growing future for the nation’s oldest team sport.

Stickball - The Museum of the Cherokee Indian
A game of stickball is played on the Qualla Boundary, the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, on September 26, 1947. Photo: The Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Guests on Native America Calling
Mike Slee (Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians), stickball player for the Walelu Cherokee Indian Ball team and the director of operations for the Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Miranda Long Stamper (Creek and a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee), teacher, coach and stickball player

Jeremy Bell (Mississippi Band of Choctaw member), announcer and player

Dr. Scott Ketchum (Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), Chickasaw Nation endowed chair in Native American Studies for East Central University

Casey Bigpond (Mississippi Band of Choctaw member), cultural revitalization specialist for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians

native america calling
Native America Calling
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