Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club Connect Through Lacrosse

Jacelyn and Mirabella Lazore recognized the need to give back more to their community and acknowledge their roles as mentors through involvement in the Akwesasne Boys & Girls Club (ABGC). Both were members of the ABGC Teen Program and currently volunteer in the Club’s Attack Lacrosse Program. In the program, the girls coach a Kindergarten-2nd grade group and referee games in the league.

When talking about Club activities Mirabella recalls, “I learned a lot through the cultural component of the Teen Summer Program. The Club made our cultural teaching more widely acceptable for all teens to learn.” Jacelyn shared, “one thing I remember the most is making the traditional cornhusk dolls without faces that were then donated to a foundation for missing and murdered aboriginal women!”

Involvement in traditional culture and lacrosse doesn’t stop at the Club for the two teens. In fact, Jacelyn and Mirabella’s lacrosse team at Salmon River High school was featured in “Keepers of the Game”, a documentary that chronicles the journey of the girls' lacrosse team from Akwesasne, NY. Prior to the start of the 2015 season, the team's funding was cut and the girls were forced to raise funds to complete their season, while battling the traditional notion that lacrosse is a medicine game only to played by men and boys. The documentary received a great deal of attention between a premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016 and air time on ESPN and ABC.

The team is an all-Mohawk team from the Akwesasne Mohawk Territory. Lacrosse originated in Akwesasne, but is traditionally considered a medicine game for only men and boys. The girls faced additional challenges from family, friends and neighbors. “Keepers of the Game” tells how the team learned to declare the sport for themselves. Jacelyn and Mirabella are currently featured in Dick’s Sporting Goods’ lacrosse catalog and in the store’s national marketing campaign. Great beginnings at their Club have allowed them to reach others locally and nationally!