History

The Healing Power of the Game of Lacrosse

BY DALLAS SMITH

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – For many of us, lacrosse is simply a game that we played or our children play after the cold snow of winter begins to melt away. However, many communities have a much deeper connection with the game of lacrosse and are aware of its deep cultural importance.

The history of lacrosse shows that the game is multi-faceted, serving not only as a sport and a game of physical endurance, but also as a spiritual ritual to honor, heal, and celebrate individuals and communities. In this sense, lacrosse is a very unique game and its depth and breadth go beyond simply competing.

One of the most renown qualities of the game of lacrosse is its healing qualities. For this reason, lacrosse is often referred to as the Medicine Game. According to early indigenous communities, “In times of sickness, the medicine people would prepare themselves and call upon the life forces of Mother Earth to assist in relieving sickness. The right medicines would appear, be chosen, and then prepared. To improve the power of the medicines a lacrosse game would be requested.” Although this passage professes that lacrosse has healing qualities, it is often ignored as being outdated or irrelevant to our current time period. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The ESPN Feature on the Kugluktuk Grizzlies gives proof of the healing qualities of the game of lacrosse. Although this clip aired almost a decade ago, it still gives a unique insight into how lacrosse can heal individuals and whole communities. Moreover, the Kugluktuk community provides tangible proof that lacrosse has retained its healing properties throughout many centuries.

Lacrosse as a Medicine Game should be promoted, emphasized, and shared throughout the province of Manitoba. It has an immeasurable power to bring together communities, better the individuals within them, and grow a healthier society.

Check back next Thursday for more information on the history of lacrosse.

For more information on The Medicine Game visit:

The Medicine Game Movie

The Healing Power of the Game of Lacrosse (CBC Article)

The Story of Lacrosse

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