A short timeline of how Indigenous people were pushed out of lacrosse competition and their efforts to return:
1637: First European observation of “la crosse.”
1823: Year to which the oldest surviving lacrosse stick is dated.
1844: First recorded match between Indigenous (Mohawk) and non-Indigenous players takes place in Quebec.
1860: William George Beers, a dentist and lacrosse enthusiast, writes a pamphlet setting out rules of lacrosse.
1867: Formation of National Lacrosse Association (forerunner of the Canadian Lacrosse Association).
1869: Beers publishes guide and rulebook “Lacrosse: The National Game of Canada.” Among the rules: “No Indian must play in a match for a white club, unless previously agreed upon.”
1880: National Lacrosse Association becomes an amateur organization. Indigenous players are barred from championship competition.
1904: Two teams — the Mohawk Indians and the Winnipeg Shamrocks — compete for Canada at the Olympic Games in St. Louis.
1983: Formation of the Iroquois Nationals Lacrosse Team
1988: International Lacrosse Federation (now World Lacrosse) approves the Iroquois Nationals as a member nation.
1990: Iroquois Nationals compete in the first international lacrosse match by Indigenous peoples since the 1880 ruling.
1994: Parliament declares lacrosse Canada’s national summer sport.
2014: Iroquois Nationals receive their first medal (bronze) in field lacrosse at the 2014 World Lacrosse Championship.
2018: International Olympic Committee grants lacrosse provisional status for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
2020: Iroquois Nationals initially excluded from participating in the 2022 World Games, but later included following voluntary withdrawal by the Irish national team.
The Canadian Press