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That Old Game La Crosse

That Old Game La Crosse

| 7 min
2018 5 films

Urban.Indigenous.Proud is a film project partnership between the Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centres and the National Film Board of Canada. Taking a community-driven approach, the OFIFC and the NFB produced five short documentaries by Indigenous filmmakers who set out to explore urban Indigenous culture and lived experiences in five Friendship Centre communities.


Long before Canada became a country, every nation on Turtle Island had its own unique version of a stick-ball game. The most popular one on this continent has always been lacrosse, a game that was gifted to the First Nations by the birds and four-legged animals, and played for centuries as a medicine game. This short film explores how the medicine game that has been passed down from generation to generation by the Haudenasaunee at the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre is helping to revive their cultures and restore their communities. Young people have always been at the centre of community for many First Nations societies, and this documentary shares the wisdom of cultivating the spirit of belonging in youth, revealing how this is helping to shape a new future.

  • writer
    JL Whitecrow
  • director
    JL Whitecrow
  • producer
    Kristi Lane Sinclair
    Lea Marin
  • executive producer
    André Picard
    Anita Lee
  • associate producer
    Kate Vollum
  • director of photography
    Nicholas Bradford-Ewart
  • sound recordist
    Beni Harper
  • editor
    Jordan O'Connor
  • sound edit
    Anthony Wallace
  • narration record
    Anthony Wallace
  • narration
    Gary Parker
  • animation
    JL Whitecrow
  • administrator
    Isabelle Limoges
  • production coordinator
    Gabrielle Dupont
  • technical coordinator
    Daniel Lord
    Kevin Riley
    Max Wolfond
  • director, Business Development, Institutional Program
    Julie Huguet
  • program coordinator
    Marcia Seebaran
  • manager, studio operations
    Mark Wilson
  • production supervisor
    Marcus Matyas
  • assistant editor
    William Mitchell
  • online editor
    Denis Pilon
  • sound mixer
    Luc Léger
  • infographist
    Mélanie Bouchard
    Cynthia Ouellet
    Jacques-Bertrand Simard
  • technician
    Isabelle Painchaud
    Patrick Trahan
    Pierre Dupont
  • marketing manager
    Charles Pease
    Kelly Fox
  • publicist
    Jennifer Mair
  • networking agent
    Donna Cowan
  • marketing manager, Community projects
    Jane Gutteridge
  • legal services
    Christian Pitchen
  • title design
    Aimée Rochard
  • featuring
    Kevin Sandy
    Roman Hill
    Lucas Sawana
    Avery Steinbach-Parker
    Dylan Brant
    Joejoe Brant
    Krystal Brant
    Gary Parker
    Jennifer Dockstader


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Ages 12 to 18

Health/Personal Development - Fitness/Physical Activities
Indigenous Studies - History/Politics
Indigenous Studies - Identity/Society
Physical Education - Safety/Fair Play/Leadership

This documentary can inspire research, discussion, projects and entry points for further learning about First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples in urban contexts. What is a creation story? How can learning about the history of lacrosse be an entry point for learning about culture and history? What is the creation story behind the term “Turtle Island” and how does this knowledge add to an understanding of First Nations culture and connection to the land? What other stick games are prominent across Turtle Island? How can games teach worldview? How would a game like lacrosse have been used to resolve conflict? How are sports integral to holistic health and well-being (spiritual, mental, physical, emotional)? Why would an Irish lacrosse team drop out of the world games to make room for a Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) team and what does this say about their ethics? 

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