SIX NATIONS — The Toronto 2017 North American Indigenous Games launches this year with a heavy focus on lacrosse.
For the first time in its 25 year history, women’s box lacrosse is set to make its debut at the games with teams representing six provinces across Canada.
Six Nations Cody Jamieson is serving as one of Toronto 2017 NAIG Ambassadors and says “Lacrosse is a gift from the creator, a ‘medicine’ used to drive away sickness and create positive energy. It is a sport that teaches athletes the value of community and teamwork, of working together for the greater good. Lacrosse, and sport in general, provides youth an opportunity to release tension and stress and replace negative energy with the positive benefits of participating in a team sport that has such an important place in Indigenous culture.”
Three venues across Haudenosaunee territory — Six Nations’ Gaylord Powless Arena & Iroquois Lacrosse Arena and Hamilton’s Harry Howell Arena — will be hosting the Toronto 2017 NAIG lacrosse competitions from Monday July 17 to Friday July 21.
Teams of players ranging in age from 13-19 years old from across Canada and the United States are set to compete.
All games are free of charge and open to the public. Several of the games will also be live broadcast online via CBC.
In addition to this year’s lacrosse focus, cultural programming is scheduled across Six Nations for the duration of the games. Opening ceremonies are to be held July 17 starting at 7pm at the Six Nations Community Hall.
The following day, July 18, a lacrosse festival is planned at the Six Nations Lacrosse Fields in Ohsweken. July 19th the Community Hall will again play host, this time to a Social Dance. A fashion show is scheduled for July 20 and July 21 sees an evening Music Festival and Grand River Champion of Champions Pow Wow kick off at Chiefswood Park.
Full details on all those events are available through Six Nations Tourism on Facebook or via www.naig2017.to
Toronto 2017 NAIG runs from July 16-23 and is expected to be the largest sport cultural gathering of indigenous people in North America with an expected 5000 athletes heading to competitions.