Native Players Learn The "Medicine Game" Of Lacrosse

Aug 19, 2017

The sport of lacrosse was created centuries ago by Native American and First Nations people from the east coast and Canada. 

These days, a group of teenage boys from the Federal Way area is learning how to play the "medicine game," which is the traditional term for the sport, from an experienced player and teacher.  

Dave Waterman is the coach of the Ohngwe Lacrosse. "I’m known as Gienhyaw. I’m from the Turtle Clan, Oneida Nation, Six nation Iroquois with the Haudenosaunee."

He says when he's standing on the sideline and looking out at the game, he sees a big picture of movement, with lot's of energy and symmetry. According to Waterman, that's what they are trying to tap into.

"The main part of that is the lacrosse ball itself. Where the power from the ground is picked up and transferred to each other. That's what we look to do, and you see it happen and you see these boys transform immediately."

Waterman says lacrosse is called the medicine game  "because it begins its motions in curing our minds," and it also helps to broaden the way we think. 

Some of the young players who are Native American are finding that lacrosse is not only fun to play, but it's also a meaningful way to stay connected to their native roots.