Up North: Youth learn traditional Ojibwe lacrosse at Superior YMCA

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Throughout the month of November the Superior Douglas County Family YMCA has been celebrating and hosting various classes to enhance the learning of Native American culture.

One of which was to honor and teach the history of lacrosse in the area. Taught by Cassie Brown from the Keweenaw Bay Band of Ojibwe

“Traditional lacrosse is often called, at least for the Ojibwe people, is often called the creator’s game or the medicine game. So it was used as a way to kind of pay respects and honor the creator, but also played as a medicine game. So played in times when the people might have been sick or injured,” said Brown.

The participants were even able to use the tools of old, to test out their lacrosse skills.

“We’re testing out both the traditional sticks and the modern lacrosse sticks. So just learning some stick skills, learning kind of how to do the basics of lacrosse and about the traditions and history of the game,” added Brown.

Those in attendance also learned techniques of traditional and modern lacrosse. From scooping and cradling the ball, too catching and throwing it with partners.

“It’s really fun to flip the stick around and try and keep the ball inside, but it’s pretty difficult. I’m a lot better at throwing than catching. It’s really cool to learn about different cultures and experience new things,” said participant Grace Milroy.

“It’s really cool to be able to share parts of my culture and to share something that I really care about. Something that’s as sacred as lacrosse, with other people and have them have fun and enjoy it and try it out,” concluded Brown.