The ceremony on Wednesday, July 31st at 6 p.m. at Justin Chiu Stadium at Trent officially opens the U19 Championships. Over the next 10 days, 22 nations—including the Haudenosaunee—will compete in games at Trent and at Fleming College. Canada will defend its 2015 World Championship with Team Canada alumnus Allison Daley on the bench as associate coach.
The modern game of lacrosse originated with the Haudenosaunee and has been played among them for centuries. It is known as Teiontshihkwa:’eks (pronounced Day yoo chee gwa ecks), meaning the “ball and stick” game, as well as Tewa’a:raton (pronounced Day wa awe law doo), meaning the “netted stick” in the Mohawk language. It was passed among different Indigenous nations including the Anishinaabe as a way to settle disputes and heal the body and mind.
“As a reflection of Indigenous communities who began this sport, we are opening our event with a focus on the people who first played this great game,” says co-chair Cheryl MacNeill, a Team Canada alumnus from 1987, who referees the sport around the world. “We are looking forward to seeing teams come together from six continents, many of them for the first time at games of this calibre.”
Field lacrosse is now one of the fastest growing sports in North America, with a record number of teams playing in the women’s U19 games this summer. When Peterborough hosted this event in 2007, 11 teams competed. Now, twice as many teams will take to the field.
The Haudenosaunee will lead the teams entering the stadium, followed by 20 visiting teams in alphabetical order, accompanied by bagpipers. Team Canada will enter last. All teams will be introduced in English, French and Anishinabemowin, then circle the stadium around the Armour Hill drum group.
The opening ceremonies are free for the public to attend. Seating will be limited so guests are encouraged to come early to participate.
Additional games will be played at Fleming College as well and the event’s final banquet will be hosted there on August 10th.
The full schedule for the games is available here.