Passport and Visa Issues Threaten to Keep the Iroquois National Team from the World Championships
In case you weren’t aware, the 2010 Lacrosse World Championships starts this Thursday in Manchester, England. Thirty teams will be participating in the games, but one of them is having a bit of trouble getting there. Actually, the problem is getting back from England.
Essentially what’s happening is the British Consulate wants assurance that the Iroquois team will be allowed back into the United States after the World Championships. To ensure that this happens, the British want the Iroquois to travel with either U.S. or Canadian passports because there is no category for Haudenosaunee in their visa process. The Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Confederacy is made up of six nations: Onondaga, Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Cayuga.
Here’s how InsideLacrosse.com is reporting it:
The Iroquois National Lacrosse team who are scheduled to play the opening game in the 2010 World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England, this Thursday have been rejected from entering the UK, as the British consulate refused to acknowledge the team’s Haudenosaunee passports and has delayed issuing travel visas while awaiting assurance from the U.S. State Department that the group will be allowed back into the United States.
The Iroquois believe that since they are their own nation, and will be competing against the U.S. and Canada, they should be able to travel with their own doc*ments. In years past, the Iroquois have traveled to England, Australia, Japan, and Canada without having a problem returning home. The Iroquois still hope to be able to depart for Manchester today.
The Iroquois Nation is an integral part of the lacrosse history. After all, they are the ones who invented the game and to them it’s known as, “the Creator’s game.” They’re going to participate in an international tournament and they should be able to get to that tournament based on the merit (the papers) of their own nation. Can you imagine what would happen if some country tried to refuse U.S. passports for Olympic basketball players?
To get sense of just how important lacrosse is to the Six Nations, Gonnella Frichner, member of the Onondaga Nation said, “this is our game and this is our gift to the world.” How can you keep this national out of the World Championship?