Anticipation and excitement are building as the Onondaga Nation gets ready to host the first game of the World Indoor Lacrosse Championship on Friday.
"We have teams here now. The teams are arriving every day. They're practicing right now. The excitement is huge."
Onondaga Faithkeeper Chief Oren Lyons and Tadodaho Sidney Hill were among those on hand Tuesday morning for the raising of the Haudenosaunee flag in front of Syracuse City Hall. Mayor Stephanie Miner read a proclamation…
"Whereas, nearly one thousand years ago, the Onondaga Nation, together with their Haudenosaunee brethren, began playing the "Creator's Game," now known as lacrosse, in an area that was to become the City of Syracuse and the County of Onondaga.”
Now, for the first time ever, an international sporting event will be held on indigenous lands. The Onondaga Nation will host lacrosse teams from a dozen countries, and Sid Hill couldn’t be more proud.
"For us to host an event around the world, a sporting event of this magnitude, we call it our game...I can't imagine what is means for everybody. Just the pride for us to be able to do that is amazing."
Hill says this tournament is an opportunity to show the world who they are…
"We have to educate people, we are still here, we're a proud nation, like any other nation is proud of their culture, of their heritage, it's just something that we've worked for. It's all coming together, and for us to host other nations, it's just an awesome event."
The Onondagas spent more than $6.5 million to prepare for the games. Most of it went toward the building of a new pavilion. Most of the games will be played there or the nearby arena. A few will be played in the county’s war memorial, including the game following the opening ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday. The finals will be held September 27th in the Carrier Dome. A schedule and more information is at wilc2015.com.