More Than a Game. Lacrosse at the Onondaga Nation connects the current generation with its ancestors. Print E-mail
Sunday, 01 December 2002 09:59

Lacrosse Magazine - Tom Rock

There is a legend. It comes from deep in the green mountains of New York State. It comes from a time when the Iroquois culture dominated the landscape like the highways and Wal-Marts that are there now. It comes from a sense of fairness, a nod of honor, and above all, it comes from a love of lacrosse.

Lacrosse: This is our game Print E-mail
Friday, 16 February 2007 09:56
Central New Yorkers have fallen in love an adopted a sport played by Native Americans before there were Europeans on this continent. Once smitten, they have been under its spell ever since. We asked various people to help us understand why lacrosse has become so much a part of the local fabric.
Phillosophy Print E-mail
oldstickLacrosse is a game that has been played by the Onondagas and the Haudenosaunee people for countless centuries. The Onondagas consider the game to be a very spiritual game given to them by the Creator and is still played at Onondaga as a spiritual and healing game for the people. In the early 1800's at Onondaga, the Haudenosaunee prophet named Handsome Lake requested the game of lacrosse be played as one of his last wishes before he made his journey back to the Creator's land. The game was played in his honor and assisted him to fulfill his journey.

The Onondagas call the game Dey-Hon-Tshi-Gwa'-Ehs which translated to mean, "they bump hips". The young people are told by the elders that the game is to be respected and to respect your opponent as they also have been given the gift to play the game. Players of all ages from Onondaga participate in an annual spiritual game. The game is played for the spiritual benefit of the Nation and for all those who play the game.

The Onondagas have a long and proud tradition of playing the game and extend their hand to everyone to join them in preserving and playing the oldest team sport in North America,

- For more of what the game means to the Onondaga people, see the following articles.
- See past team photos.
- Interview with Oren Lyons on the meaning of lacrosse
The OAC Print E-mail

Mission Statement:

The Onondaga Athletic Club (OAC) is a community-based organization, which promotes the traditional moral values: Honor, dedication, and community service. The OAC will serve the people of Onondaga and her friends, promoting fairness and goodwill through sports. The concept of unity and friendship shall be foremost in the hearts and minds of its’ keepers and exemplified with dignity in all functions. The OAC shall remain non-political and open to the views of others, acknowledging the natural laws of diversity, and respecting the knowledge that can be learned from others. The OAC shall encompass all ages and seek to support all programs designed to foster the ideals of positive social interaction. With full spirit and tradition the OAC shall lay the foundation for its’ next generation, by protecting and forwarding their own respective history in Onondaga Sports.

Contact Info:

Onondaga Nation Arena:
Phone: 315-498-6813
Fax: 315-498-6814

Arena Manager: General manager of operations at Tsha'Hon'non'yendakwha'.
Sherwin Hill
ext. 143
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Zach Jones
ext. 106

Media/Newsletter: For info on Senior Mens lacrosse and general sports information
Shirley Hill
ext. 122
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Pete Edwards
ext. 102

OAC office: For info on Minor lacrosse players, schedule, and updates.
Melissa Rank
ext. 118
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OAC office:
Vern Jones
ext. 121

Stick Maker Print E-mail

The Beginning

Making Traditional Lacrosse Sticks - photo by Mike GreenlarSince the gift of the Creator's game, Dey-Hon-Tshi-Gwa'-Ehs or Lacrosse, the Onondagas and the Haudenosaunee have long enjoyed playing this intense physical and intellectual game. But like most things, there are special abilities and talents that individuals possess that are needed even before the game can begin. One of those individuals is the Stick Maker. For over 50 years at the Onondaga Nation, that title has been held by Louis or Alfred Jacques.

Louis Jacques (Canadian Lacrosse Hall of Fame Inductee in 1999) began coaching and stick making for the Onondaga Athletic Club in the 1960s. His dedication and love of the game fostered championship teams and players who choose a Louis Jacques stick as their stick of choice.

After Louis passing in 1985, it was his son, Alfred or "Alf", who continued in his father's footsteps of the gift of making the sticks for the men who play Lacrosse.
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