DOINews: Burns Paiute Tribe Participates in Medicine Game

Last edited 09/05/2019

On Saturday, October 8th, the Nadzitsaga Lacrosse Club hosted the 4th Annual Amos First Raised III Medicine Games. The games are held to remember Amos, one of the original founders of the club. This year we also played to remember the ten year anniversary of September 11th, as well as Larry Richards, a member of the Burns Paiute Tribe, who passed away this summer after a long illness.

Forty men, women and youth lacrosse players from Klamath Falls, central Oregon, Pacific University and locally converged on Hines City Park for a day of lacrosse, which was played in a more traditional manner. "Lacrosse" is a Native American game played by many Northeastern, Midwestern and Southeastern nations such as the Seneca, Cherokee, Onondaga, Sioux, Choctaw, Alabama, Huron, Ojibwe, Abenaki, Passamaquoddy, etc. The game is still an important social, cultural and spiritual game for many of these peoples. Before the games commenced, Mr. Ermon Smartt from the Burns Paiute Tribe conducted a traditional blessing in the Paiute language for the players and field to keep the players safe.

The games this year were played in what is referred to as Chumash format, which is a three versus three version of the game with only one 6 foot tall by 1 foot wide goal placed in the middle of 50 yard by 30 yard field. There is no goalie. This version of the game is fast paced with lots of dodging, passing, give-and-goes and picking. The shooters have to be very accurate to score.

From noon to 1 PM we held a Honor Game to honor veterans, service members, firefighters, EMTs/paramedics, police and victims of September 11th, as well as Welles Crowther, a former lacrosse player from Boston College who died in the South Tower. Crowther helped many survivors exit the building, and continued to go back in to help others. When the South Tower collapsed Crowther perished, he was 24 years old. Later, some survivors from the South Tower spoke of a "man in a red bandanna" that organized them and helped them down the stairwell to safety.

For the Honor Game two teams were randomly selected by a Person of Honor. At each end of the field a 4'' by 4'' by 8' tall posts were erected to serve as goals. To score the shooter must hit the post with the ball. On each goal 15 ribbons were placed- Red, white and blue on one and yellow on the other. In addition, a red bandanna was placed on the south goal to honor Crowther. After each goal the game was stopped and a ribbon removed by the player that scored. The player then gave the ribbon to a Person of Honor. This game was very competitive, fast, intense and played with the right "spirit". The "white" team defeated the "dark" team 13 to 9. "The spectators and Honorees witnessed some good lacrosse and some very skilled players."

After the Honor Game, the tournament resumed. Team Central Oregon went home with the top spot in the tournament with 55 points, followed by Klamath Falls #1 with 50 points and Nadzitsaga #1 with 40 points.

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