Headlines (News Releases)
Office of Aboriginal Initiatives
Laurier hosts High School Friendship Lacrosse Tournament
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Sep 27/13| For Immediate Release
WATERLOO – Wilfrid Laurier University will host high school students from Six Nations and Mississaugas of the New Credit for the fourth annual High School Friendship Lacrosse Tournament, taking place on Laurier’s Waterloo campus Friday, Oct. 4.
Six Nations and New Credit high school students will come to Laurier to tour the Waterloo campus, meet with Laurier students and members of the Laurier Aboriginal Student Association, and have a skills training session with professional lacrosse coaches from the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team, the Haudenosaunee National Women's Lacrosse Team, and Laurier’s men’s and women’s lacrosse teams.
“This is an opportunity for Laurier to develop relationships with local First Nations people, to encourage First Nations students to consider university as a future path, and to create awareness of Aboriginal peoples and culture among Laurier students, staff and faculty,” said Jean Becker, Laurier’s senior advisor: Aboriginal initiatives.
The day begins at 9 a.m. at University Stadium, with a traditional opening happening at 9:30 a.m. in the stadium gym. From 10 a.m. until noon students will break into groups for skill testing. During lunch, Paige Sillaby and Rachael Simon, president and vice-president of Laurier’s Aboriginal Students’ Association, respectively, will address the students. Students will finish the day with a campus tour, ending at 2 p.m.
The First Nations have been playing lacrosse, also called baggataway or tewaarathon, for more than 500 years. Lacrosse is an integral part of native culture, and Canada’s official national sport.
“Maintained as a central part of Aboriginal cultures for centuries, lacrosse is more than a game; it is regarded as a gift from the Creator and has ceremonial purposes,” said Kandice Baptiste, Laurier’s Aboriginal students recruitment and retention officer. “In Aboriginal communities lacrosse is introduced early to youth and can be a powerful tool to teach values, build character and help learn a healthy lifestyle. We look forward to hosting this tournament every year, and every year it continues to grow.”