Haudenosaunee Women’s Lacrosse Team has withdrawn from competition in Scotland
HAUDENOSAUNEE—The has withdrawn from the international lacrosse competition due to a dispute over the validity of its Iroquois Confederacy-passports the team uses when entering foreign countries.
The 2015 Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championship is set to begin in Edinburgh, Scotland on July 23, 2015.
The Iroquois have used their own passports—separate from the United States—since 1977 as a means to demonstrate their sovereignty strength as a tribal nation. The current dispute is a result of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative, which went into effect in 2009 due to increased border security.
With the Haudenosaunee Confederacy attempted to negotiate entry with the United Kingdom, but the negotiations were unsuccessful.
Below is the statement issued by the Haudenosaunee Nation Women’s Lacrosse Board:
It is with our deepest regrets that we, the Haudenosaunee Nation Women’s Lacrosse Board, must inform the lacrosse community, and the world that we have withdrawn our U19 team from the 2015 Federation of International Lacrosse U19 World Championship in Edinburgh, Scotland.
After months of trying to find a way into Scotland that was acceptable to both the United Kingdom and our Haudenosaunee Confederacy, we have been unsuccessful. This is a long standing political issue based on the lack of recognition of our Haudenosaunee people as a sovereign nation by some countries. The United Kingdom, being one of these countries, required our team to travel on Canadian and American passports.
This is unacceptable to the Confederacy because we are not Canadian or American citizens. Our ancestors were on Turtle Island, known today as North America, before Canada and the United States were created. We continue to exist today as a separate, sovereign nation and we cannot undermine this position by using other countries’ passports. However, we understand and respect the right of the United Kingdom to protect their country and their citizens.
We appreciate the FIL for recognizing us as a sovereign nation and inviting our U19 Haudenosaunee women’s lacrosse team to participate in the World Championship. We are extremely proud of our U19 team and sad that they will not have the opportunity to show the world the natural talent, heart and spirit they possess. We wish our athletes all the best and we hope to see them competing in future FIL world events.