I have watched this film last year when I was at the Native Youth to College Program last year but i still loved watching it as if I was watching it for the first time. I just love watching sports and even if i knew what the end result was, I still had my hopes up and would actually get hyped. I also loved seeing indigenous people fight for their people when they weren’t allowed to cross without an U.S. passport. I’m glad that they keep the game alive in their nation, since other nations have lost their way.
Today was full of wonderful moments! It started for me at 6am waking up and walking outside to find Cuauhtli and Jasson ready to run. We ran around all the campuses and then went to Indigenous games with Hector. It was fun starting the day off in the early golden light and finding the energy in ourselves to run and run and run. Throughout the day we toured Pomona College, ate delicious food, swam in the pitzer pool and then watched Spirit Game. The movie was very inspiring and it just so happened that one of our mentors my amazing friend Phil who I love is from one of the 6 nations, whose team the film followed. I loved the movie because it had me hanging off my seat hoping the Iroquois team would win and taught me a lot about the history of the 6 nations and how colonization continues to affect them today. There was a moment in the film where the Canadian Coach was sitting next to one of the Chiefs. They were sitting in the tribal councils log building. The film had just discussed how the Kanadian team refused to get their passports stamped. The coach said it was just a big misunderstanding and laughed it off. There are subtitles during this sequence because the chief’s words are a muffled by one side of his lips. He explains that he recently had a stroke. The Kanadian coach says some words about how canada needs to treat its Native people better. It seems like he is trying to seem progressive, even though his team just refused to respect the sovereignty of the nations by getting their passports stamped. The chief doesnt look at the coach, but with clear eyes describes how men come to him and think they can spent a couple minutes with him and learn the history. They come to him without knowing anything about his people. They expect his people to sit down and tell them the history, quickly and then they leave. The subtitles roll across the screen and the coaches eyes flicker behind his fake smile. The chief continues describing the ignorant men who come. His eyes do not look in the coach’s direction.
The coach at the beginning of the interview smiles at the chief sickly sweet as if telling him youre just a sweet old man. But the chief smiles and shows that the coach and the country of canada are ignorant fools. Such ignorant fools. But so dangerous.
It was a great day. I cant wait for tomorrow.
Today, on July 12, 2017, we the students of the Native Youth to College Program at Pitzer College, had the privilege to view an amazing film, Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation created and directed by Gayle Anne Kelley. Gayle was adopted into the Onodaga Nation because of the amazing work she has been working on and demonstrating her love and passion through the variety of events and ceremonies she has participated in. Her creating this film and sharing it with the world is very inspirational because it contains so much information that youth can see what our fellow natives went through. This film was not only focused on the game of lacrosse, but focused on everything that was connected to one another.
In the beginning of the film you see how the Iroquois Nationals from Haudenosaunee had the challenge of not being accepted into the international competition because they were not considered to be a nation. Eventually throughout the movie, you see how the nations come together and celebrate their differences culture and traditions form their nations. One of the moments that inspired me the most in the film, was the scene when the New Zealand nation and the Haudenosaunee nation came together and shared their culture with each other, but also the coach, Rich Kilgour from the Iroquois Nationals exchange a lacrosse stick made by family members of the players. The lacrosse sport was not only a sport to the Haudenosaunee nation, but it was medicine. Medicine for the: players, children, women, family members, but it was also used as a healing medicine, setting a prayer and expressing themselves.
So with that being said, I want to thank Gayle Anne Kelley for creating such a beautiful and inspiring film to our world. Learning new information and possibly show other fellow youth what I received from this film, because I know some young human beings can not connect to this movie because they do not know their nation and were not raised into learning their culture and language. Hopefully, I can be a leader to them. So once again, I thank you, Gayle for sharing this film and thank Pitzer College for having this connection with inspiring, beautiful human beings.
always happy, Johanna Osuna
Around 7:30 all of the students gathered up at the Benson Theater because we were going to watch a movie. The movie was called The Sprit Game and it was about the Iroquois tribes traditional game which is what we now know as lacrosse. This game has been a game the tribe has played for thousands of years and is a popular sport in the americas. A group of Iroquois natives started a team and they are from new York and they all come from indigenous communities and reservations where they grew up playing lacrosse. The main goal of the team was to reclaim their own sport and show the world that they represent the game and all their ancestors who played this game before they. One of the most Controversial parts of the film was when the pope came to the United Sates and he eventually came to new York where he and other cultural leaders were going to met up and the chief if the Iroquois nation was suppose to stand amongst the leaders of these world religions and represent the Iroquois nation. He was going to speak about a document the pope has called the Doctrine of Discovery where it talks about how the pilgrims came to this land seeking religious refuge and religious freedom, but it never mentions the atrocities committed against not just indigenous peoples of that region, but they speak for all natives who have had these atrocities committed against them for the sake of their religion. Catholicism and christianity have all had a negative impact on Existing native peoples, cultures and religion and the introduction of these foreign religions has lead to the near extermination of indigenous peoples, cultures and religions and that is why the chief of the Iroquois nation and the people are trying to convince him to destroy the document because of its historical inaccuracy and its wrong ideas. The chief wasn’t allowed to stand amongst the cultural and religious leaders for the stupid fact that he had antlers on his traditional hat and they say that as a threat so they confiscated his has and it was dehumanizing because of the fact that they are taking away one part of your identity and its wrong because you wouldn’t take the popes hat away so that was wrong.
On July 12, 2017, The youth of the Pitzer pipeline program had such an amazing experience today from learning more upon college and there requirements to ending our day with a new indigenous movie created and directed by Gayle Anne Kelley titled Spirit Game: Pride of a Nation. It was amazing to learn the true history and origin of the game lacrosse and how from a young age the iroquois players would play. I learned that the game lacrosse had more meaning which was for medicine to express themselves instead of a game to just play between each other.
The movie was such an informational movie especially for the youth to inspire them and show them some of there history. The movie was so touching just to see how all 6 nations came together to have this home game in there reservation and how even though they lost there final game they all were still so supportive of each other because at the end of the day the game is just a way to show there creator the respect they have for him and appreciation for the game he created. I hope to see more films like this one day and to just see more of our culture and history being shared to the world.
Peace and Love Christine
After watching Spirt Game: Pride of a Nation, I realized this documentary was nothing like any other sports documentary. This movie is inspirational to native youth who do not receive the chance to learn their history that is commonly left out of history books. The Federation of International Lacrosse holding its tournament on iroquois territory was huge for indigenous peoples everywhere. The movie covers the struggles of being native, always having to fight to protect their culture. It follows the endeavor of the path to dismantle the doctrine of discovery. After working years to organize a encounter with the pope, the secret service disrespected native elders and beliefs while destroying the work towards meeting the pope. The movie ended in a way that reflects historical context with the natives continuing to fight to amend and hold up their culture, traditions, and pride.
I thought the movie Spirit Game Pride of a Nation is an extremely necessary film for the indigenous community for a couple of different reasons. The first being that the Chief Oren Lyons is an executive producer for the film, this is extremely influential for the native community because it shows native youth that we can do phenomenal things with our stories and begin sharing our history through different media platforms. The movie also shows how indigenous people are continuing to be dehumanized by colonial oppression in very vital scenes of the film. When secret service agents took one of the onondaga chiefs head pieces that symbolized much more than what it seemed but just like in the past ignorant white people could not comprehend its significance and continued to disrespect native culture.
PS. indigenous people have always lived in harmony with our mother so i was wondering in construction of the lacrosse arena what did the Haudenosaunee people do to make the arena as sustainable as possible?