The Washington Post reports that the White House South Lawn was transformed into a lacrosse field on Monday to celebrate the sport’s Native American roots.
Chief Oren Lyons of the Onondaga Nation was featured.
“The game you have now in your hands belongs to our nation,” Oren Lyons said. “For us, lacrosse is a spiritual game — a connection to everything around us, not just a sport,” Lyons said.
The Onondaga Nation faithkeeper is 81 and one of the most respected elders in the American Indian community. Lyons was a college all-American and played goalie on Syracuse’s unbeaten 1957 national championship team that also featured the NFL’s most famous running back, Jim Brown.
But this was not Lyons’ first trip to the White House. In 1972 he led a caravan to the District of Columbia to convince the Bureau of Indian Affairs to honor its treaties with Native American tribes — dubbed the Trail of Broken Treaties.
Lacrosse is also being used a part of the “Let’s Move!” program for Indian Country that brings together federal agencies, native communities, nonprofits, corporate partners, and tribes to address ending childhood obesity in Indian Country.