Jamaica backs Biden on Haudenosaunee for LA Games

President of the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), Christopher Samuda, has come out in support of US President Joe Biden's call for the Haudenosaunee Nationals to be included as a separate lacrosse team in the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, which was made at the recent White House Tribal Nations Summit.

President Biden is reported to have stated of the Haudenosaunee Nationals: "Their ancestors invented the game. They have been perfecting it for a millennium. Their circumstances are unique, and they should be granted an exception to field their own team in the Olympics. The game has brought the tribes together. A force for peace, friendship, and healing. Six Nations players remain some of the best in the world."

Biden and the USA's petition to allow the Haudenosaunee to compete as a separate team at the 2028 Los Angeles Lacrosse Competition (an exhibition sport) would require the IOC to make an exception to the rule that only teams competing as part of an official National Olympic Committee can compete in the Olympics. The Haudenosaunee have competed as a separate team in several international events since 1990. 

Tom Perez, White House Senior Advisor and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs, hopes 'the IOC will see it our way. If we're successful, it won't just be the flag of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy flying at the Olympics, it will be the flag of indigenous people around the world.

President Samuda, in support of President Biden's position, commented that "as the originators of the sport and as an expression of the sport, and as an expression of embracing the cultural heritage and historical integrity of the sport, the of the sport, the inclusion of the indigenous Haudenosaunee Nationals would exemplify the values of the Olympic Movement's values of equality". 

US President Joe Biden wins support for his idea. © Getty Images
US President Joe Biden wins support for his idea. © Getty Images

The Jamaica Lacrosse Association (JLA), in conjunction with the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA), recently successfully hosted the Pan American Lacrosse Association's Sixes Cup in Jamaica's capital, Kingston, where the Haudenosaunee Nationals fielded a team that won the women's competition. 

Several countries, including teams from the Caribbean, Central America and South America, participated in a tournament that President Samuda described as "a symbol of unity and friendship in sport and a demonstration of the values of humanity that transcends a mere event to become an inspiring sporting experience."

At the end of the tournament, the JLA and JOA hosted "Jamaica Night", which President Samuda said was "transformed into a night of the Americas and regional fellowship through the vibrant and amazing interaction and fellowship of the teams".