July 16, 2010
Iroquois Nationals still waiting for British officials to review applications for entry
NEW YORK – Jackson Lewis, counsel for the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, continues to work through diplomatic channels to try to resolve issues with the British Consulate that will allow the team to travel to compete for the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships.
They are requesting the British Consulate to expedite review and processing of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse team’s applications which they have been trying to submit since June 28th when the team’s attorney took all the necessary documents to the British Consulate and was refused admittance.
“We have been trying to gain admittance to the British Consulate to meet in person with officials in New York for the last 18 days,” said attorney Tonya Gonnella Frichner. “It would appear that officials may have made an arbitrary decision without a proper review of the application materials.”
Since then, the Jackson Lewis law firm (www.jacksonlewis.com) offered its services pro bono to attempt to intervene and help with the process. They are asking British officials to carefully review and evaluate the documentation that the team has submitted in order to satisfy any remaining questions.
Meanwhile, the National Congress of American Indians – representing hundreds of American Indian Tribes in the United States – has sent a letter to British Prime Minister David Cameron calling on the government of the United Kingdom to allow entry of the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team to they may participate in the World Lacrosse Championships being held in Manchester, England. (read the attached letter.)
“We strongly urge the United Kingdom to follow the actions of U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and clear the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team for international travel on their Haudenosaunee passports,” said NCAI’s President Jefferson Keel in the letter. “As you are aware, the game of lacrosse is indigenous to Native Americans. In the view of Native peoples, denying entry to the game’s historical and cultural emissaries is a troubling scenario.”
The 23 members of the team and their entourage are on standby awaiting resolution in the hopes that they will be able to catch a flight to London in time for the team to play in the tournament.
Last night in Manchester, two former members of the Iroquois Nationals were present during the opening ceremonies and walked in the procession carrying a Haudenosaunee flag. The stadium erupted in a 5-minute standing ovation.
The Iroquois Nationals remain optimistic that they will still be able to fly to England to compete in the tournament. http://iroquoisnationals.org/
Contact: Valerie Taliman 505.899.9110