Crew Statements for Sacred Stick

Crew Statements for Sacred Stick

Michelle Danforth (Oneida)
"For me, it was about creating something that my son and his friends would want to watch. Lacrosse is so important to many Native people, so sharing a small piece of it is equally exciting. When I first started, all I knew was that my husband had played lacrosse long ago, but the more I have learned, the more fascinated I am to learn even more."

Patty Loew (Ojibwe)
"About five years ago, my world harmonically converged around lacrosse, ‘baaga’adowe,’ as we call it. First, an elder told me an enthralling story about how our people, the Ojibwe, using lacrosse as a ruse, captured a nearby fort during Pontiac’s rebellion. Then, I heard about an effort on the Red Cliff Reservation to reintroduce lacrosse to kids. Problem was, although they’d found equipment and instructors, there were no other Native teams to play against. A couple of weeks later, my son’s high school announced it would introduce lacrosse as a varsity sport. The coach called to ask if I could share some history about the game. Soon after I produced a PBS story about Native baseball and learned that back at the turn of the century, players sometimes used lacrosse sticks to pitch batting practice (toughened up the batters and boy, did they learn how to hit fast balls!). Everywhere I turned, it seemed, I bumped into the sport. When my friend Michelle Danforth, an Oneida filmmaker, suggested that we co-produce a documentary about lacrosse, I had already been primed. But first, we traded jabs. She boasted that her people, the Oneida, had invented the game. I suggested that the Oneida, playing with their big-basket ‘wussy’ sticks, should try a real stick, the small-basket Ojibwe sticks that require actual skill…. And so it began. How could I not do this documentary?"

 

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Lake of Betrayal looks at the Seneca Nation’s fight to protect its sovereignty against a backdrop of a federal Indian Termination policy, pork-barrel politics, and undis