Documentary Track


Project Synopsis:

Sacred Stick examines the historical, cultural, and spiritual aspects of lacrosse. It explores the origins, transmutations, and cultural persistence of the game, which is believed to be the oldest sport on the North American continent: a truly indigenous game. In many ways, lacrosse is a metaphor for the experience of Native Americans themselves. It flourished prior to European contact. It was suppressed (thought to be too “savage”), its cultural expression was forced underground then appropriated by the dominant culture which denied access to Native players, and it re-emerged as Native communities found their voice and exerted their self-determination. It is no small triumph that the world famous Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team competes today as a separate “sovereign” entity on the international circuit. Sacred Stick will be of interest both to a general audience, for whom lacrosse is the fastest growing sport in the country, and to Native Americans for whom lacrosse has deep cultural meaning.