Despite intervention from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the Iroquois Nationals lacrosse team had to miss the World Lacrosse Championships in Manchester, England because the British Consulate would not issue them visas. Though they already had to forfeit their Thursday night game, there was hope that they would be issued visas in time to play a game today against Japan. But the British refused to honor their Haudenosaunee passports, and now they have run out of time. One player told the Times, “I felt it was coming, but I didn’t want to believe it until I actually heard it."
Though the Iroquois nations had been able to use their tribe-issued passports for about 30 years, new regulations say they can't use the passports to travel. But a Canadian Mohawk leader claimed nobody ever explained the new rules to them. Manager Ansley Jemison told the Daily News that the Heudenosaunee confederacy is trying to regain recognition of the passports so these complications don't happen in the future. The controversy has now inspired outrage towards the British, with Representative Dan Maffei calling the situation an "international embarrassment," and questioned the country's ability to host the 2012 Olympics.
Jefferson Keel, the lieutenant governor of the Chickasaw Nation said the drama brought into question the actual sovereignty of Native American nations. He said, "I just didn’t understand why a country would go through all these hoops to deny an indigenous team the opportunity to compete in an international game." But though they had to miss the game, goalie Marty Ward said he feels like they did something important. “It brought indigenous people back to the forefront. It let everyone know that we’re still here—we haven’t gone anywhere.”