House Rules Committee Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) is on a mission this week to ensure that a team of Iroquois lacrosse players get a chance to play in the World Lacrosse Championships.
The tournament is being held in England, but a passport SNAFU may prevent the Iriquois Confederacy team from traveling to it. Slaughter is working with the State Department to resolve the impasse.
Lacrosse was first played by Native Americans more than 1,000 years ago. "These players are part of a wonderful tradition and an important legacy, both in the Native American culture and within the broader sports world," Slaughter said.
The specific holdup is due to the fact that Iriquois carry passports issued by the Iriquois Confederacy, but England requires letters from the State Department guaranteeing that the players will return to the U.S. following the tournament. In this photo, lacrosse player Jeremy Thompson waits at the visa office in New York City.
Slaughter has urged the State Department to expedite the letters. "This same core group of players, representing the six Indian nations that include upstate New York and Canada, have traveled internationally for more than 20 years without interruption to participate in this tournament. I definitely don't want to see this wonderful tradition end simply because of a paperwork holdup."