Lacrosse at the Olympics: Celebrating Native American Roots and Seeking Inclusion


Summary: Lacrosse, a sport with deep Native American roots, is set to make its Olympic return in 2028. The Haudenosaunee nation hopes to have a spot in the tournament, challenging the International Olympic Committee’s tradition of only allowing countries with national Olympic committees.

Lacrosse, a sport deeply intertwined with Native American culture, will be featured in the Olympic schedule for the first time since 1908 when the games are held in Los Angeles in 2028. The Haudenosaunee nation, comprised of six Native American nations, is eager to participate, but its inclusion depends on whether the International Olympic Committee will make an exception to its long-standing policy. The Haudenosaunee see lacrosse as much more than a sport—it is a community spirit and an integral part of their identity. Lacrosse was played by tribes in northeastern North America as early as 1100, serving as a preparation for war and a tool for diplomacy. The Haudenosaunee national team, established in 1983, has been participating in world championships since 1990, and hopes to continue their journey on the world’s biggest stage. While the final decision rests with the IOC, organizers for the Los Angeles Olympics are committed to finding creative solutions that honor the sport’s heritage and allow Haudenosaunee athletes to compete.

Tags: Lacrosse, Olympics, Native Americans, Haudenosaunee, International Olympic Committee, Sports