An Akwesasne mom’s love for lacrosse inspired a ribbon skirt that pays homage to Ireland’s national team for withdrawing from the next World Games to make room for the Iroquois Nationals.
“I just want to thank Team Ireland for doing that. It meant so much to Indian country. It meant a lot and inspired me to do this,” said Cheyenne Lazore, a Kanien’kehá:ka (Mohawk) crafter from Akwesasne, which straddles the Ontario, Quebec, and New York state borders.
The 11th edition of the World Games is set to be held in Birmingham, Ala., in July 2022, and it will be the first time men’s lacrosse will be included in the games. The Iroquois Nationals, which represent the Haudenosaunee Confederacy in international field lacrosse, were originally told they were ineligible to compete under International Olympic Committee rules.
After an international movement of support was sparked for the team, Ireland voluntarily vacated its men’s national team’s position in the 2022 World Games to ensure there were no barriers to the Iroquois Nationals’ entry to the tournament.
The bright green skirt is called I Dteannta a chéile – Together As One, after the slogan adopted by both lacrosse teams following the announcement. The skirt includes six panels with Irish influences and beaded celestial trees — a common symbol in Haudenosaunee cultures.
Lazore’s 11-year-old daughter is a lacrosse goalie and one day hopes to play for the Haudenosaunee women’s team. They’re both huge lacrosse fans.
“We never miss any local games. When we go to her tournaments, we watch all the other games. We’ve watched the Iroquois Nationals on TV since she was little, when they played in Syracuse,” said Lazore.
“When most kids run around the arena, she would sit there and watch.”
Lazore said in making the skirt, she was able to teach her daughter about humbleness and the importance of lacrosse. The sport was invented by the Haudenosaunee. It’s referred to as a medicine game, as a gift from the Creator, to be played for his enjoyment and for healing.
“It meant a lot for me to teach her that humbleness and how lacrosse is our game. We gave it to the world, and for Team Ireland to give that back to us, it just meant so much. I just wanted to teach her all about that humbleness, and just how much it means to us,” she said.
Sky Timmons, who modelled the skirt, echoed similar sentiments.
“It was incredible because how Ireland Lacrosse presented themselves and stepped down and gave the position to the Iroquois. That’s what is making this so big,” said Timmons, whose mom is from Akwesasne and father is non-Indigenous with Irish heritage.
“Everyone had so much respect for them. That’s her way of giving thanks to them, to showcase her work with their symbol on it.”