Published On: June 5, 2019Categories: Archives, Book Reviews

The Creator’s Game: Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood

A review by Virve Wiland, WCC Librarian


Here I am, the reader of the book “The Creator’s Game” – Lacrosse, thinking I am being given an insight into the history of Indigenous Lacrosse.  What I am really being given is an insight into how Lacrosse helped to bring Indigenous nations together and provide them with a doorway to “Identity and Indigenous Nationhood”.

Allan tells us his personal story as an intergenerational Survivor of Residential Schools; some trickster tales; how Canada appropriated Lacrosse as its National Sport; and how Lacrosse gave Indigenous Nations a powerful tool for reunification and went way beyond to demand sovereignty on the world stage.

The claim that Lacrosse represented a civilized Canadian identity became so pervasive that it was used as an assimilation tool to further cultural genocide at Residential Schools.

In his last chapter Allan Downey explains that he decided not to cover ceremonial games in this book.  “I and the mentors with whom I worked shared only what we wanted to share.  So much has been taken from our communities that I wanted to start giving some of the stories back”.

Allan Downey will be giving a lecture at Laurier Brantford in October 2019 to support the Save the Evidence Campaign in fundraising to repair the former Mohawk Institute Residential School building.  We hope that many of you Lacrosse enthusiasts will come out to hear Allan’s story.  Keep an eye on this website for details.


You can purchase a copy of The Creator’s Game from Good Minds


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