President Joe Biden is pushing to allow the Indigenous nation that invented lacrosse to play under its own flag when the sport returns to the Olympics in 2028.
Biden`s position, announced Wednesday at the White House Tribal Nations Summit, is a request for the International Olympic Committee to allow the Haudenosaunee Nationals to compete as its own team at the Los Angeles Games.
” That would require the IOC to make an exception to a rule that permits teams playing only as part of an official national Olympic committee to compete in the Olympics.
“We're hopeful the IOC will see it our way, as well,‘‘ Tom Perez, the White House senior adviser and director of intergovernmental affairs, told The Associated Press.
“If we're successful, it won't simply be the flag of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy that marches in the Olympics, it will be the flag of Indigenous people across the world.
” The Haudenosaunee, formerly known as the Iroquois, is a collection of six Indigenous nations whose territory covers upstate New York and adjacent sections of Canada.
Shortly after the IOC announced in October that lacrosse was returning to the Olympics, it reiterated its stance about teams having to compete under the flag of an established Olympic committee.
S. and Canadian Olympic committees would have to find a way to include Indigenous athletes on their respective national teams.
It wasn't the ultimate goal of Haudenosaunee leaders when they pushed for lacrosse to come back to the Olympics.
” But, he said, if the goal at the Olympics is to showcase the best in every sport, the Haudenosaunee should have a place in the games.
In around the year 1100, Indigenous communities in northeastern North America invented the first version of lacrosse, playing games that could involve more than 100 men on a side.
S. and Canadian Olympic Committees to explore potential pathways for the Haudenosaunee to participate in the Olympics while respecting the Olympic Games framework,” World Lacrosse said in a statement Wednesday.
It also released a statement from Haudenosaunee player Fawn Porter, who said the government's support ‘‘will help build additional momentum as we continue our journey as Haudenosaunee people with a desire to bring the medicine of lacrosse to the world.
” This summer, the Haudenosaunee started reaching out to the White House to get Biden's support.
“I can't think of a more worthy candidate for inclusion than a confederation that literally invented the sport and has some of the most elite men and women in the sport in their nation,‘‘ Perez said.