The Iroquois or Haudenosaunee (people of the longhouse) were amongst many First Nations People who played the game of lacrosse as a medicine, for resolution and to entertain and show gratefulness to their Creator.
The Iroquois consists of six affiliated nations, the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Seneca and the adopted nation of the Tuscarora. These nations referred to the game as tehotshikwa’eks (day ho ji gwa eks) meaning “they bump into one another”.
The game of lacrosse originated amongst the Iroquois people at the time of creation, at a time when the Creator sent a messenger to his people to provide them with life instructions.
The messenger who came from the heavens or “sky world” appeared before the people and provided them with a way of life, a way to give thanks to the Creator. The messenger lived amongst the Iroquois people and taught them how to conduct ceremonies of thanksgiving for the many gifts that the Creator has given. The Iroquois were instructed to be grateful for their life sustenance such as corn, beans, squash, the strawberries, and also for the sun, moon, and thunder who all serve great purposes for continuation of life.