The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team’s travel documents were declared unacceptable for travel by the U.S. Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security at 4 pm, July 8, 2010. This is traumatic to the Iroquois Nationals’ travel schedule and budget. The Board of Directors, Travel Committee, Coaches, Staff and Team of almost 50 people are struggling to convince the Department of State and Homeland Security to accept our travel documents so that our All-American team can compete as a nation against team Canada, team USA, team England, team Australia and team Japan in the premiere Blue Division of the Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) at the FIL World Lacrosse Championships hosted by England at Manchester from July 15 to 24, 2010.
The game of De-hon-tshi-gwa’ ehs (Lacrosse) has become an inspiration to a third of the world’s youth – 109 countries in all. The long-stick game is a gift to the world from the Haudenosaunee, the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy. It would be strange – beyond strange, indeed – if the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, the national team of the Haudenosaunee were denied participation in the World Lacrosse Championships by agencies of the United States. We are perplexed by this position taken by the Obama Administration.
Since the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team’s admittance to the Federation of International Lacrosse in 1983, the team has participated in every world competition as a member nation, flying our own colors, singing our own anthem and traveling on our own Haudenosaunee passports to England (1985, 1994), Australia and Japan. As citizens we have traveled internationally on our own passports since 1977. We do not take this issue of passports lightly. We have traversed our request with the utmost respect for the sovereignty of the nations involved. As Indigenous Peoples of North America, we have over 200 years of treaties and international relations with our brother, the United States.
We need your support to help convince the U.S. to accommodate our travel to Manchester, England. The Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team and Team England are scheduled to open the World Lacrosse Championships at 7:00 pm Thursday July 15th.
This is a call for support. We want to ensure that Native Peoples should not be told they cannot leave or cannot return to their homelands.
Please contact the White House at 202.456.4771 to express your support for our clearance to leave and return to participate in the World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England, as soon as possible. Let us know you did so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please also email White House Indian Affairs senior staff Kimberly TeeHee at Kimberly_K._TeeHee@who.eop.gov and two State Department officials, Kathleen Milton at email@example.com and Lynn Sicade at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your support. When we win, you win.
Day na to,
Joagquisho, Oren R. Lyons
Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team