Canadian Lacrosse Association Statement on Iroquois Nationals and the World Games

Jul. 26, 2020

OTTAWA, ON - No country has benefited more than Canada from the gift of lacrosse that has been bestowed upon the global sporting community from the Haudenosaunee people. 

As such, the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) and Team Canada stands unequivocally in support of the Haudenosaunee’s inclusion in the upcoming 2022 World Games in Birmingham, USA and all other multi-country events that are sanctioned by World Lacrosse, the governing body of our sport. This support does not come just from the President and Board of the Canadian Lacrosse Association. Our support for the Haudenosaunee is confirmed by the social media postings from our players, coaches and fans, including many players from Team Canada. The Canadian lacrosse community stands strongly united in our support of the Haudenosaunee and their inclusion in all World Lacrosse events.

“It should be noted, that in addition to the gift of lacrosse, the Haudenosaunee are at the center of our sport in Canada. They are coaches, teachers, players and administrators in communities throughout Canada and generously share with the rest of the Canadian lacrosse community their wisdom of the game at both a technical and spiritual level. The CLA therefore is not simply standing up for Team Haudenosaunee based on a moral argument. We are standing up for our sisters and brothers and teachers,” stated Shawn Williams, President of the Canadian Lacrosse Association.

The CLA is well aware of a petition circulating regarding a boycott of the World Games in Birmingham. This represents one of many options that the CLA may choose to pursue as we get closer to Birmingham, an event that is scheduled to be held roughly two years from now. However, the CLA’s immediate focus is to have the Haudenosaunee included, a process which we believe is far from exhausted. The CLA will explore its options including non-participation later in the process, and therefore does not rule out that possibility. But for now, the CLA believes that every effort must be made to have Team Haudenosaunee included.

The CLA recognizes that there exists a great deal of complexity with respect to how entities such as the World Games, Commonwealth Games, Pan American Games and Olympics define what constitutes a Nation. But we also recognize that we live in a world where various standards and norms are being revaluated and reconsidered. Thus, we encourage all governing bodies to reconsider their “standards of participation” to ensure that the Haudenosaunee participate in all multi-country events sanctioned by World Lacrosse. Jason Donville, Director of the CLA’s National Teams, asserts, “a World Championship of lacrosse, in any form, without the Haudenosaunee is not a World Championship.” 




About the Canadian Lacrosse Association       

Founded in 1867, the Canadian Lacrosse Association (CLA) is the governing body responsible for all aspects of lacrosse in Canada. Our organization is comprised of 10 Member Associations representing nearly 85,000 individual participants, including coaches, officials, and athletes of all ages and abilities. The CLA's mission is to honour the sport of lacrosse and its unique nation-building heritage, by engaging our members, leading our partners, and providing opportunities for all Canadians to participate. The CLA oversees the delivery of numerous national championships and the participation of Team Canada at all international events sanctioned by World Lacrosse. The CLA is proud to be affiliated with partners that share the same vision and values, including our corporate partners - NormaTec Recovery Systems, Canadian Red Cross, Westjet, and Baron Rings - as well as our funding partners the Government of Canada, the Coaching Association of Canada, and the Canadian Lacrosse Foundation. For more information on Canadian Lacrosse Association and the sport of lacrosse, visit our website at and follow us on FacebookInstagram and Twitter.


For more information, please contact:

Victoria Klassen

Communications and Marketing Coordinator
Canadian Lacrosse Association

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