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More Than a Sport, Lacrosse Carries Deep Meanings of Peace, Democracy to Haudenosaunee

Most Central New Yorkers know lacrosse originated on the shores of Onondaga Lake thousands of years ago with the Haudenosaunee Confederacy.  But many might not know it’s much more than a sport: It’s a game of peace and community that can be linked to American democracy and the women’s movement.

WAER News stopped by the fourth Haudenosaunee Wooden Stick Festival last weekend at Onondaga Lake Park to learn more about the roots of lacrosse and its role in Native American Culture.

More about the history of Native Americans from Central New York, including lacrosse artifacts, can be seen at the Ska-nonh Great Law of Peace Centeron Onondaga Lake Parkway.  

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at