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March 29, 2018

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Wilfrid Laurier University alumnus Allan Downey (MA ’08, PhD ’14) will return to Laurier's Waterloo campus April 3, bringing his passion for the game of lacrosse full circle.

Downey will kick off the launch of his first-ever book The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood with a reception, reading and book signing at Veritas Café beginning at 1:30 p.m.

“The book was written to support the growth of Indigenous history for and by Indigenous communities, and to share these stories with Indigenous youth,” says Downey, a member of the Nak'azdli First Nation and assistant professor at McGill University. “This is an exciting moment and I cannot think of a more fitting place to launch the book than Laurier. It began here and I am happy to return to celebrate with the people that helped make the book possible.”

The Creator’s Game focuses on the history of lacrosse in Indigenous communities from the 1860s to the 1990s. Through it, Downey explores Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations, Indigenous identity formation, and the cultural appropriation – and reclamation – of lacrosse. The book is the result of Downey’s doctoral research, “The Creator's Game: Aboriginal Racialized Identities in Canada's Colonial Age, 1844-1990,” supervised by Susan Neylan, Laurier associate professor of history.

The event is co-sponsored by the Office of Indigenous Initiatives and Support Aboriginal Graduate Enhancement (SAGE) Laurier, an interdisciplinary student club dedicated to supporting Indigenous graduate students at Laurier. This is SAGE Laurier’s first campus-wide event to celebrate Indigenous graduate students.

“We are thrilled for SAGE as they host their first event for the campus community and are proud of the work they do to share and discuss ideas, challenges and experiences of Indigenous graduate students,” says Melissa Ireland, manager of Laurier’s Indigenous student centres. “Dr. Allan Downey was where our graduate students are now, just a few short years ago. To have him return as an alumni, a chair of a department, and an author of a new book is an astounding opportunity to witness.”

The Creator’s Game was released in hardcover on Feb. 1. The paperback edition is scheduled for release in August 2018. A limited supply will be available for purchase at the event and Downey will be available for signing.

All members of the Laurier community are welcome to attend the event, which is free of charge. For more information, email sagelauriercoordinator@gmail.com or visit SAGE Laurier on Facebook.

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