by Sarah Moses Syracuse.com
ONONDAGA NATION — Former Vice President Al Gore and football legend Jim Brown were among hundreds of guests tonight at a private dinner held on the Onondaga Nation for the 2015 World Indoor Lacrosse Championship.
The dinner, which was hosted by the Onondaga Nation, featured the 13 teams competing in the world games, their coaches and more than 250 special guests.
Haudenosaunee dancers welcomed the crowd as they entered the giant white tent staged next to the Onondaga Nation Arena. Wooden chandeliers hung from the ceiling and tables were decorated with purple linen tablecloths, candles and wood-burned sculptures of the world games logo.
Mather, from Seattle, said he’s never been to New York and he is excited to be in the birth place of lacrosse.
“To hear the drums and see the dancers — it’s amazing,” he said. “I can’t wait to try the food.”
Traditional Native American food, including corn soup, hot scoons and cornbread, were among the dishes served at the buffet-style dinner, which was served by dozens of volunteers from the Onondaga Nation.
The tent was filled with laughter as lacrosse players took selfies with teammates and videos of Haudenosaunee dancers. Cheers and applause filled the room whenever the Onondaga Nation was mentioned.
The crowd also gave Jim Brown and Onondaga Nation Faithkeeper Oren Lyons standing ovations as they took the stage. The two played lacrosse together at Syracuse University.
Tadodaho Sidney Hill said he was speechless as he sat at his dinner table with Jim Brown sitting to his left and Al Gore sitting to his right.
“It’s just awesome,” he said.
The world games officially start Friday morning and the sold out opening ceremony will be held at the War Memorial Friday night followed by the Iroquois Nationals versus Team USA game.