indianz.com your internet resource indianz.com on facebook indianz.com on twitter indianz.com on Google+
ph: 202 630 8439   fax: 202 318 2182
Kill The Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement
Advertise on Indianz.Com
Home > News > Headlines
Print   Subscribe
Doug George-Kanentiio: It's time for Native Olympic hockey

Filed Under: Opinion | Sports
More on: doug george-kanentiio, hockey, sovereignty
   

John Chabot, former National Hockey League player and citizen of the Algonquin nation, has an idea whose time has come. He believes that the indigenous nations of North America have the talent to form a men's hockey team capable of playing on the international level and by rights should be represented at the Olympic Games.

Currently, the NHL has a number of Native players who could form the nucleus of such a team and would immediately prove to be highly competitive. Players like Corey Price of the Montreal Canadiens, Cody McCormick of the Buffalo Sabres, Jordon Nolan of the Los Angeles Kings and his teammate Dwight King.

There is also DJ King of the Washington Capitals, Rene Borque of the Canadiens, Sheldon Souray of the Anaheim Ducks and Jordin Tootoo of the Detroit Red Wings. Add to this Wade Redden, Chris Simon, Jonathan Cheechoo then include a number of excellent minor league and college players with the result that an all aboriginal team would have the talent to skate with any other nation.

That a Native Nation has the standing to be represented at the Olympics has already been established. In 1904 the Mohawk Nation sent a men's lacrosse team to the Games in St. Louis, Missouri. Lacrosse was discontinued as an Olympic sport after 1908 (very odd given it is Canada's national sport) but exhibition games were held at the 1932 Games in Los Angeles where the Iroquois fielded an all star team. My uncle, Angus "Shine" George was on that team which attracted thousands of spectators but despite this popular draw the governing Olympic Committee was not persuaded that the game was sufficiently international in scope to warrant official status.

The current exclusion of lacrosse as an Olympic sport cannot be sustained. Dozens of countries field national teams with the world championships held every four years-many more than play hockey. Perhaps lacrosse is omitted because there is a team which is ranked as one of the best on the planet, is all Native, travels on its own passport and under its own flag.

That team is the Iroquois Nationals. Since 1983 the Nationals have taken serious runs at the US and Canada, securing the silver at the 2011 box lacrosse tournament in the Czech Republic and the bronze at the 2012 World Junior Lacrosse Tournament in Finland. Not too bad when the Iroquois have a player pool of 1,000 from a total population of 40,000. This in contrast to the hundreds of thousands of lacrosse players in the US and Canada, countries who can draw upon 400 college teams, over 1,500 high school teams, 4,000 youth leagues and hundreds of club teams now playing the game from California to Texas, Vancouver to Montreal.

An aboriginal hockey team at the Olympics would be based on legal reality. Entities like Puerto Rico, the British Virgin Islands, Taiwan, Hong Kong, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Cook Islands and a group called the Independent Olympic Athletes all send representatives to the Games when their national status is far more ambiguous than that of the native peoples of North America.

Native nations have formal documents by which Canada, Britain, France and the United States have acknowledged their standing as sovereign entities. These contracts, or treaties, form the foundation upon which the European powers created their nation states on this continent. They are compacts binding under domestic and international law and have been sustained by the United Nations. These treaties were cited by the Iroquois Nationals when they successfully petitioned to be included as a national team by the International Federation of Lacrosse which now has 38 members including Peru, Estonia, Turkey, Thailand, Bermuda and Israel.

The IFL is truly multi-national in scope and when it hosts the 2014 World Championships in London, Ontario the Iroquois Nationals will be there, marching into the stadium with its purple and white banner in front. The team is favored to medal this year and perhaps defeat both Canadians and Americans for lacrosse, like hockey, is an invention of the aboriginal peoples who have given both these sports as gifts to the world.

So in the spirit of past NHL aboriginal greats like George Armstrong, Theoren Fleury, Reggie Leach, Bryan Trottier, Stan Jonathan, Gino Odjick and Fred Sasakamoose it is time for an all aboriginal men's hockey team to participate in the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea. To carry their flag should be John Chabot, the man who has the audacious dream to restore the pride and dignity of all Native peoples by taking part in what is rightfully our game.

Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the former editor of the journal Akwesasne Notes. A founding member of the Native American Journalists Association he served on the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian. He is the author of many books and articles about aboriginal people including "Iroquois on Fire". He may be reached via e-mail: Kanentiio@aol or by calling 315-415-7288.


Copyright © Indianz.Com
More headlines...
Local Links:
Federal Register | Indian Gaming | Jobs & Notices | In The Hoop | Message Board
Latest News:
Native Sun News: Tribes walk out of contract support cost meeting (8/29)
Clara Caufield: Northern Cheyenne Tribe spends $2.4M on property (8/29)
Mike Johanns: Retracing steps of great Ponca Chief Standing Bear (8/29)
Steven Newcomb: Racist mascot a sign of deeper problems in US (8/29)
Lauren Jones: Affordable Care Act benefits Native Americans too (8/29)
Gila River Indian Community to see $77.6M from Cobell buy-back (8/29)
Energy boom linked to rise in human trafficking in Indian Country (8/29)
Navajo man heads up Native American Homelessness Task Force (8/29)
9th Circuit hears case over Yakama Nation tobacco manufacturer (8/29)
WAER: ICWA matters handled in 'kangaroo courts' in South Dakota (8/29)
MPR: Red Lake Nation opposes liquor license near dry reservation (8/29)
Tule River Tribe helps remove marijuana operation on reservation (8/29)
Omaha Tribe signs agreement with EPA to improve utility services (8/29)
Las Vegas Paiute Tribe rejected 'gift' from NFL team's foundation (8/29)
KPLU: Spokane Tribe maintains close ties with baseball franchise (8/29)
Opinion: HUD loan program a small step to boost Indian housing (8/29)
DNA study finds distinct population of Native people in Arctic area (8/29)
Tribes closely watching Big Lagoon Rancheria casino land dispute (8/29)
Tohono O'odham Nation to build off-reservation casino in phases (8/29)
State questions Forest County Powatatomi Tribe's slot machines (8/29)
Quapaw Tribe eyes local support for commercial casino in Kansas (8/29)
Native Sun News: Police officers who shot Indian teen get medals (8/28)
Cara Cowan Watts: Laying the groundwork for college scholarship (8/28)
Rudolph Ryser: Indigenous nations need leverage to bring change (8/28)
DOI extends $100M in Cobell buy-back offers on two reservations (8/28)
Cobell buy-backs could return over 38K acres to tribe in Montana (8/28)
Five-year-old Navajo boy sent home from school for his long hair (8/28)
Three charged with murder for death of Mississippi Choctaw man (8/28)
Lummi Nation seeks cooperation after ruling in treaty rights case (8/28)
Artist Gregg Deal takes on Indian mascots for performance piece (8/28)
Sports announcer won't use Washington NFL team's name on air (8/28)
Recruiter from Spokane Tribe's college selected for Peirone Prize (8/28)
California tribes support release of water to benefit salmon runs (8/28)
Southern Ute Tribe invests $2B in big energy production system (8/28)
County hires lobbying firm to oppose federal recognition reforms (8/28)
Tohono O'odham Nation breaks ground for off-reservation casino (8/28)
Cherokee Nation starts construction on casino at Indian allotment (8/28)
Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribe responds to opponents in casino suit (8/28)
Jamul Band continues work on $360M casino after victory in court (8/28)
Editorial: Forest County Potawatomi Tribe ups ante in casino feud (8/28)
Ho-Chunk Nation launches outreach effort amid casino expansion (8/28)
Nebraska Supreme Court hears arguments over gaming initiative (8/28)
Tim Giago: Greedy lawyers and government ruin Cobell settlement (8/27)
Native Sun News: Facility in Montana set to house Indian inmates (8/27)
Gerald Gipp: National strategy needed to reform Indian education (8/27)
9th Circuit won't stop repatriation of Kumeyaay Nation ancestors (8/27)
Bill John Baker: Cherokee Nation puts youth to work for summer (8/27)
Gabe Galanda: Academia won't tackle tribal disenrollment issue (8/27)
Misty Lynn Ellingburg: 'Four Winds' is a literary magazine for us (8/27)
Declination rates for Indian Country crime steady for third year (8/27)
DOJ awards grants to address violence in Bakken energy region (8/27)
Another pipeline spills saltwater on reservation in North Dakota (8/27)
Navajo voters oust incumbent president Ben Shelly in primary (8/27)
Once rival factions of Chukchansi Tribe agree to 2015 election (8/27)
Three brothers on the ballot for Passamaquoddy Tribe election (8/27)
Daily Beast: Border Patrol runs free on Tohono O'odham Nation (8/27)
KTOO: Cook Inlet Tribe turns to video game to represent culture (8/27)
more headlines...

Home | Arts & Entertainment | Business | Canada | Cobell Lawsuit | Education | Environment | Federal Recognition | Federal Register | Forum | Health | Humor | Indian Gaming | Indian Trust | Jack Abramoff Scandal | Jobs & Notices | Law | National | News | Opinion | Politics | Sports | Technology | World

Indianz.Com Terms of Service | Indianz.Com Privacy Policy
About Indianz.Com | Advertise on Indianz.Com

Indianz.Com is a product of Noble Savage Media, LLC and Ho-Chunk, Inc.