The Creator’s Game
364 pages, 6 x 9
58 photos
Hardcover
Release Date:15 Feb 2018
ISBN:9780774836029
PDF
Release Date:15 Feb 2018
ISBN:9780774836043
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The Creator’s Game

Lacrosse, Identity, and Indigenous Nationhood

UBC Press

A gift from the Creator – that is where it all began. The game of lacrosse has been a central element of many Indigenous cultures for centuries, but once non-Indigenous players entered the sport, it became a site of appropriation – then reclamation – of Indigenous identities. Focusing on the history of lacrosse in Indigenous communities from the 1860s to the 1990s, The Creator’s Game explores Indigenous-non-Indigenous relations and Indigenous identity formation. While the game was being stripped of its cultural and ceremonial significance and being appropriated to construct a new identity for the nation-state of Canada, it was also being used by Indigenous peoples for multiple ends: to resist residential school experiences; initiate pan-Indigenous political mobilization; and articulate Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood on the world stage.

The multilayered story of lacrosse serves as a potent illustration of how identity and nationhood are formed and reformed. Engaging and innovative, The Creator’s Game provides a unique view of Indigenous self-determination in the face of settler-colonialism.

The Creator’s Game will be of interest to scholars and students of Canadian history, Indigenous studies, political science, and sports history.

Far more than a history of a sport, The Creator’s Game is an engrossing tale of appropriation and reappropriation that highlights complex relationships between European and Indigenous peoples. Provocative, creative, and ambitious, it offers a unique window into the history of colonialism, the inner workings of residential schools, the development of Indigenous nationalism, the emergence of modern sport in Canada, and the gendered dynamics of lacrosse’s political, social, and spiritual importance. I’m a big fan of this book. Michael Dawson, professor of history and associate vice-president (research), St. Thomas University
The Creator’s Game engages Indigenous storytelling, worldviews, and traditional language to shape nuanced understandings of the roles that lacrosse played – and continues to play – in Indigenous identity making. It is a richly insightful and compelling work that will pave the way for future studies that employ Indigenous methodologies and epistemologies. Nancy Bouchier, professor of history and associate member of the Department of Kinesiology at McMaster University
Allan Downey is Dakelh, Nak’azdli Whut’en, and an assistant professor in the Department of History and Classical Studies at McGill University. He has published articles in the Journal of Canadian Studies, Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, and the Canadian Journal of History. Beyond teaching, one of Allan’s greatest passions is working with Indigenous youth, and he splits his time volunteering for a number of Indigenous communities and youth organizations throughout the year.

Acknowledgments

Dewa’áọ’:gajíhgwa’e’ – Prologue: The Creator’s Game

Baaga’adowewin – Introduction: A Trickster History of Lacrosse

1 Tewaá:rathon – The Canadian Appropriation of Lacrosse and “Indian” Performances

2 Metawewin – Colonizing the Creator’s Game in Residential Schools

3 Sk’exwa7 – Articulating Indigenous Nationhood on the West Coast

4 Ga-lahs – Box Lacrosse and Redefining Political Activism during the Mid-twentieth Century

5 Dey-Hon-Tshi-Gwa’-Ehs – Reclaiming the Creator’s Game

Dewa’ë:ö’ – Conclusion: A Trickster Ending

Págádowe – Notes; Yunęnrúhaˀr – Bibliography; Index

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