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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.100

Lacrosse between the West and the East: Refusal, Solidarity, and Recognition – attitudes toward Native Americans


  • Dr. Livia SAVELKOVA

Primary authors


Lacrosse, known generally as a stickball “game“ with its origin in North America, has been an important component in the lives of many Native Americans. Although the game was appropriated by Euro-Americans, became a tool of Canadian nation building as well as a tool of Native American assimilation in the 19th century, and became increasingly sporticized, lacrosse has remained an important element of Native American lives and societies. Banned from participation in Canadian tournaments and later also from international championships, Native American players finally entered the international competitive space after more than 100 years at the end of the 1980s, when the Iroquois Nationals became a member of the International Lacrosse Federation (ILF). With the end of the Cold War, European countries from the so-called socialist world had joined the international lacrosse organizations as well. Czechoslovakia played an important role not only in the development of box lacrosse in Europe, but also in a recognition of the indigenous roots of the game as well as of indigenous sovereignties. Based on my ethnographic research, the paper will analyze how different popular notions about Native Americans in different parts of the world led to various glocalized forms of the game, but may also lead to the recognition of the importance of Native players in lacrosse as well as political solidarity and recognition of indigenous sovereignties.