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Halifax Thunderbirds honour Indigenous roots of lacrosse


Lacrosse is more than just a game for Halifax Thunderbirds captain Cody Jamieson.

“This game is medicine, it’s known as the medicine game,” said Jamieson. “It teaches you a lot about yourself and a lot about life and kind of helps you work your way through things.”

Jamieson is one of five aboriginal players on the Thunderbirds roster, which is owned by Curt Styres, an Indigenous businessman from Six Nations, a First Nation reserve near Brantford, Ont.

Styres brought the lacrosse franchise to Halifax in 2019 after he moved the team from Rochester.

The Thunderbirds are dedicated to Indigenous causes and hosting its annual Every Child Matters night, which includes a pre-game ceremony to draw attention to and honour the victims and survivors of Canada’s residential school system.

The Thunderbirds also celebrated the Indigenous history and culture of the sport with a special halftime performance.

Jamieson said it’s important to share the history of the sport and when he’s not playing the game, he spends time going into schools and teaching lacrosse to youth.

“It’s good to share our culture and share what we know and share what we have and to share this game,” said Jamieson. “This game was given to us by the creator and to share with everybody.”

“That’s what’s important about tonight, it’s reconciliation and being together and sharing knowledge and sharing stories and just being around each other.”

Lacrosse is a part of a positive way of life for Jamieson and his teammate Randy Staats, who was acquired in an offseason trade. Both are from Six Nations and represent the Iroquois national team at international lacrosse competitions.

Staats says he feels at home with his new team and is encouraged by the Thunderbirds advocacy around Indigenous issues.

“It’s always good when we have the opportunity to do that in front of people,” said Staats. “I think it’s good for the game and good for people’s knowledge around where the game comes from.”

Both players enjoy the chance to play the game and grow the sport in the Maritimes.

“The fan base here is incredible,” said Jamieson. “They are loud and knowledgeable about the game, and I think it gives us a distinct home field advantage that many teams in this league don’t have.”

For these lacrosse players, the game is more of a way of life. That’s why they both call it “the medicine game.” Top Stories

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