Problem DescriptionOfficially sanctioned by the Grand Council of Chiefs to represent the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois), the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team is the only Native national sports team in international competition. The Team, which has won numerous medals and awards, travels overseas using Haudenosauneee passports, and in so doing, has successfully engaged state departments, embassies, and consulates around the world in recognizing the sovereignty of the Iroquois Confederacy and its member nations. Team members comprise a corps of Iroquois ambassadors who build international goodwill and educate fellow athletes, government officials, and the public about the Iroquois.
Lacrosse has deep cultural roots as well as modern implications for the Haudenosaunee: the
game not only has a revered place in Haudenosaunee art, religion, and society, but the
Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team itself is an expression of Indian sovereignty. Through its
insistence on admittance to the International Lacrosse Federation and its successful engagements with the US and foreign governments to recognize Iroquois
passports, the Iroquois Nationals take principled stands about what it means to be
sovereign. In doing so, the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team extends the role
of lacrosse in its players’ home nations from being a primarily cultural and religious
touchstone to being an internationally recognized symbol of sovereignty and self-government.
Other American Indian nations, indigenous peoples, and indeed, nations everywhere can
look to the Haudenosaunee and their Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team for evidence of the
symbolic and practical power of tribal sovereignty.
Solution StageOne of the 7 stages of an innovation. Learn more
|STAGE||SPECIALIST SKILLS REQUIRED||EXAMPLE ACTIVITIES||RISK LEVEL AND HANDLING||FINANCE REQUIRED||KINDS OF EVIDENCE GENERATED||GOAL|
|Changing systems7||Strong leadership and management, and identification and traning of new leaders and teams|
|New definitions of and measures for efficiency and impact are created||A transformation in the way we do things|