Nova Scotia box lacrosse team wins 7-5 at the North American Indigenous Games

Team Nova Scotia celebrated their victory

Box lacrosse is one of the three traditional Indigenous sports at this year’s North American Indigenous Games in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Monday evening’s marquee matchup featured the host Team Nova Scotia taking on Team Wisconsin in men’s 16 and under box lacrosse. Before the game, a small ceremony took place to open the traditional sport.

Following their entrance, there were words from Wagmatcook First Nation Chief Norman Bernard and a ceremonial faceoff took place.

“It is a very tough sport, it was a great way to toughen up young warriors for war but it was also a game played for recreation. I have heard the sport of lacrosse sometimes referred to as medicine game, or the Creators game. It is a very special game for all Indigenous people across Turtle Island,” Chief Bernard said.

The game between Wisconsin and Nova Scotia was tightly contested throughout, with plenty of hard hitting action. The game remained close until the final buzzer, which eventually saw the host Team Nova Scotia walk away with a 7-5 victory.

There were cheers and support from the packed stands at the RBC Centre for the box lacrosse game.

Ceremonial faceoff. Photo: Darrell Stranger/APTN

Goals from Nova Scotia in the first and second periods had them out to an early 4-0 lead.

Team Wisconsin however was not going down without a fight as they fought back with a few goals of their own.

For Nova Scotia’s Brody Boyd, to play in front of the home fans and family was an experience like no other.

“…that was crazy. We never play in this rink, and the other ones don’t have stands so this was nice to play in. Just play for our family,” Boyd said to APTN News after the game.

Despite the loss, team Wisconsin players said the atmosphere gave them energy throughout, especially because field lacrosse is their primary version of lacrosse.

“Usually when we play field lacrosse, there is usually not that many people but I came out here I was like holy. All these people just came here to see us play so I was amazed at how many people came out so it was nice,” said Phoenix Webster.

They thought the energy in the crowd was amazing.

“The cheering is almost just like another boost to yourself you know you make a big play or your team makes a big play, the crowd is just like nothing I’ve ever experienced before,” his teammate, Jamison Quiver agreed.

Boyd, who scored a goal in the game, has a passion for lacrosse that includes playing for others.

Nova Scotia and Wisconsin faceoff
Team Nova Scotia and Team Wisconsin lining up for a faceoff. Photo: Darrell Stranger/APTN

“I play for family, I play for my teammates and everyone else and it’s just fun. I just play for the ones who can’t,” he said.

Even though there was plenty of slashing, hitting and trash talk, everyone came together at the end of the game to meet up and give their respect to one another, something the Wisconsin players enjoyed.

“I got hit over there and I felt my back crack when I hit the wall, there was a lot of trash talk between us and then I thought we wasn’t going to get along after the game but after the game, we all shook up and we were glad to make it out. It was actually fun,” Webster said.

“I love how we all come together and after the game you know after all the intense shoving and stuff and pushing, we all are Indigenous people at the end of the day so we come together and really appreciate the sport,” Quiver said.

Box lacrosse is ongoing and runs until July 22.

Read more about NAIG 2023


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