Last Friday, a statement by Selena Lasota of the Katzie First Nation on her decision to leave Team Canada Women’s Lacrosse and try out for the Haudenosaunee Women’s Lacrosse team was released on the official Haudenosaunee Confederacy Women’s Lacrosse Program instagram account.
The account explained that Lasota’s decision was bigger than lacrosse and that she chose to join the organization after the devastating news of the unmarked graves of 215 Indigenous children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School.
Her full statement reads:
“I asked to be released from the Canadian Lacrosse Association in order to try out for the Haudenosaunee Women’s Lacrosse program on May 27 – the same day that news of the 215 children found buried in unmarked graves on the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School quickly spread across Canada and Around the world. The pain and devastation of that discovery, and the trauma that Indigenous people have known and lived with each and every day for generations, helped fuel my desire to be a part of a proud, strong, indigenous organization.”
“My decision was about more than lacrosse. Canada recently held its first National Day of Truth and Reconciliation to shine a brighter light on the injustices the Canadian government has inflicted on our Indigenous people. On that day, I walked with survivors from the former residential “school” at Tinwis. Now, I want to walk onto the field to play the Creator’s Game alongside other Indigenous athletes, as we honour our shared cultures and compete together against the best players in the world. Our talent and our heretoge need to be recognized on the global stage, just like the voice of Indigenous people everywhere need to be heard in the global community. The change I have decided to make is important, but is only one persons actions. I hope Canada and other governments, their leaders and people across the country and around the world will begin to acknowledge the past, and finally commit to greater changes that are long overdue.”
Since the beginning of the Kamloops Indian Residential School ground radar search, there have been over 7,000 graves found.