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Native youth play Lacrosse on the White House lawn
Saturday, August 13 2011
 
Written by The Circle Staff,
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The White House hosted its first-ever lacrosse clinic on July 11 on the South Lawn featuring some of the nation's best lacrosse players and showcasing the health benefits of the nation's fastest growing sport to 100 youth as part of the First Lady's Let's Move! in Indian Country (LMIC) initiative.
The  clinic, organized by the White House Office of Public Engagement and the Department of the Interior, brought players from the Iroquois Nationals Team, Major League Lacrosse, the National Lacrosse League, MetroLacrosse and representatives from New Balance to introduce local and Native American youth to the sport and its cultural traditions.  The event also kicked off national commitments made between LMIC and major lacrosse leagues and equipment firms to expand Native youths' access to, and participation in the sport.
"The Iroquois Confederacy is well known for its cultural ties to lacrosse and the ceremonial roots involving healing," said Assistant Secretary - Indian Affairs Larry Echo Hawk. "It is wonderful to have Iroquois representatives demonstrate the continuity and diversity behind the secular sport of lacrosse and its sacred historical relationship to many American Indians."
Youth from the District of Columbia and Annapolis and Native youth from Baltimore's Native Lifelines, Menominee Nation and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians learned lacrosse skills as well as the sport's rich cultural traditions from members of the Onondaga Nation.
The game of lacrosse originated as a ceremonial American Indian healing game, often called the "Medicine Game," which valued creating a healthy and physically agile community. Today, the game has become the fastest growing sport in the United States, spawning professional, amateur, collegiate and high school leagues and creating many opportunities for boys and girls across the country to engage in rewarding physical activity.
The event was part of the White House Summer South Lawn Series that engages youth in outdoor activities and recreation.  As a part of First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative, LMIC was launched on May 25th, 2011 to bring together federal agencies, communities, nonprofits, corporate partners and tribes to end the epidemic of childhood obesity in Indian Country within a generation.
To learn more about Let's Move! in Indian Country see: www.letsmove.gov/ indiancountry.



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