Monday, 12 July 2010

Immigration Cowboys refuse entry to Iroquois nations...

The most interesting if controversial news which has caught my eye recently is the debatable decision which has ground the Iroquois Nations world championship campaign to a halt. The Iroquois nationals, who are scheduled to play the opening game in world championships have been rejected from entering the UK, as the british consulate refused to acknowledge the team’s Haudenosaunee passports without assurance from the U.S. State Department that the group will be allowed back into the United States.

The 23 man squad and their entourage of family members, supporters, and fans, around 50 in total were expected to depart from the states yesterday evening, however, the most recent updates imply that they may not leave until tonight, if at all! The hope is that the US State Department will have told the consulate that the team and entourage will be allowed to return to the U.S. If that happens, the team will depart for England that evening and start immediate preparation for their first fixture of the world championships. Facing off against England, as part of the very special opening ceremony. An ironic twist towards the underlying symbolism of national and sporting pride which this match, between the creators of our sport and the host nation, will undoubtedly uphold.

The Team had sent their Haudenosaunee passports to the British Consulate in New York and were told they needed to use U.S. or Canadian passports, even though team members have been traveling to and from World Championships for over 2 decades, to several different nations including to England, Australia, Japan and Canada, they have never never before had a problem returning home.

This controversial decision made by the British consulate contradicts everything that this native american confederacy has fought for, hundreds of years. These passports are a representation of these people’s freedom as an independent nation, a nation who’s people are indigenous to the US. Which raises an interesting questions. Why would the British consulate think that these people would not be allowed back into the country to which they are citizens? Why are these people being asked to use an American or Canadian passport when they are completely in there rights to travel as a nation which has been recognized for over 20 years of international Lacrosse and accepted in several countries, including England for that matter.

When asked to do this, Waterman, a spokes person for the Iroquois team said “we cannot do that. We’re our own people. We are a sovereign nation. We already have travel documents and we’re participating in an international tournament, and to participate in an international tournament you have to be a country. We’ve been recognized by this organization as a country with our own citizens, our own sovereignty, our own land, and flag and anthem and we’ve belonged to this organization since around 1990 and we’ve been sending teams out since that time,”

The Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) Confederacy is comprised of six nations: Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Cayuga. While each nation is a separate entity, they share a collective identity as Haudenosaunee and are issued Haudenosaunee passports, rather than individual nation passports.

According to sources the team are still optimistic that they’ll be leaving tonight, but there are still hurdles to overcome. Waterman continued “There isn’t anyone more proud about this country. This is our home and we would never endanger it. If we had a phone call from the State Department just to reaffirm, ‘Yes, we’re proud of them, we’ll welcome them back,’ it would be nice to know they’d be supportive of us,”

There are many issues which I feel are flagged up within this affair. The british government are so uptight on being politically correct, so why do they not recognize the Iroquois nation as it’s own nation? This issue has cost the iroquois nationals over $23,000, who will be reimbursing them? this is an amateur sport after all, and just as most of the countries that participate in the World Championships, Iroquois are self funded. Was it unethical of the British Government to hold them back despite allowing them in to the country for the same tournament just years back? These people are doing something really positive and they’re doing it at the highest levels, they are the inventors of our sport and are entitle to use the documentation which supports their heritage and allows them to represent there nation at the games. It’s a shame that in this day and age, when we are taught to be proud of who we are, where we come from, and how to accept other peoples cultures within our own societies; and especially where sport is considered to a platform that brings people together as one; that bureaucratic idiocy is allowed to tarnish everything that the world championships stand for...

I hope this topic can inspire debates amongst yourselves, and below are quote’s which members of the Iroquois nations team made which I felt gave a raw, truthful perceptive.

“When you talk about lacrosse, you talk about the lifeblood of the Six Nations. The game is ingrained into our culture our system and our lives,” said Oren Lyons, Onondaga Faithkeeper and a former All-American Lacrosse Goalie.

“This is our game and this is our gift to the world,” Gonnella Frichner said.


  1. There has been a Facebook Cause set up to support the Iroquois Nationals' right to travel on the Haudenosaunee passport:

  2. What a load of racist idiots. "oh no, the original people who populated this country have refused to use the passports we want them to. I guess we'll just deny them access back to their native land should they ever venture too far from it."
    The way this situation is being handled makes me sick. We need the iroquois here, you can't have a world championship without the nation that invented the sport!!

  3. My brother is GM of the Nationals and as I type this they are at the airport still waiting approval to get on the flight. Iroquois sovereignty is guaranteed in the Canandaigua treaty of 1794, signed between the Iroquois and George Washington, google it.

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  5. With all due respect I sent this off to the organizers and the host team...


    To Festival Officials Of the Lacrosse Games in England:

    You bring nothing but Shame to the name of Lacrosse!
    And to your Country and to your host, the team of England you bring Disgrace!
    You tarnish the highest representatives of the British Crown, a cherished Allied Power to the Longhouse!
    You insult the Iroquois Confederacy, which is based on Peace through true Consensus,
    and all its Peoples and all those who love and participate in this Historic Sport!
    You are the Poorest Examples of Fairness, especially to the Young!
    Your decision to Force The Iroquois Nationals to forfeit the opening Match
    and Award the English Team Maximum points is Dead Wrong!
    To give Your team such an Outlandish Advantage before the Games EVEN BEGIN is Unsporting!
    It shows the World who you really are: a bunch of Ignorant, Bumbling, Pompous Bums!
    I hope you get Stomped! You deserve to neither win, nor participate, nor host!
    Tally Men, you are not! And Champions, Never!

    Peter Cooke, Brantford, Ontario, Canada.


  6. sore losers they lost football now they want to win lacrosse... boycott the Brits and demand passports and reject them at all future first nations events point finale

  7. Shame on ever team especially the United States and Canada for not boycotting these games. I played lacrosse for a long time at a youth, high school, collegiate and club level starting in the mid 1970s. I know coach high school in Pennsylvania.

    If I were a player, a coach, a TEAM I would have walked out on this whole thing as solidarity to our brethren who started this game, the “Creators Game”. It is based on principal and reverence for these folks who played this game thousands of years before the white man even knew about it.

    Lacrosse for me now as well as then has always had a spiritually sense, which was taught to me from my mentors due to rich Native American History. It is what makes the game special. I am more disappointed that people did not have the character to stand by the Haudenosaunee (or Iroquois) TEAM.

    Today people think they are bigger than the game and our ancestors who started it. You are not.