The lacrosse team made of up members of the Iroquois tribe had to forfeit its opening match the 2010 World Lacrosse Championship because of enduring travel document issues, which means it was another night at the Ozone Park Comfort Inn. The Iroquois Nationals, ranked 4th in the world, spent yesterday continuing their fight for a chance to travel to the U.K. Team chairman Oren Lyons said, "There is movement in our discussions with the U.K. We don't know if we can resolve the issues in time for us to make our next game."
The team is made up of Iroquois tribe members from the U.S. and Canada who use a Haudenosaunee passport for travel. But apparently the U.S. and Canada don't really accept the documents as valid passports; the issue came to a head on Sunday at JFK Airport, when the team members were prevented from leaving the country. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stepped in and allowed them a one-time waiver, but now the United Kingdom says it won't accept the passports. While Lyons was optimistic, the AP reports, "a spokesman for Britain's Home Office who spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with ministry rules said later in the day in London that its stance had not changed and that a change was highly unlikely [last night]."
Tribe members have declined to pursue U.S. or Canadian passports, saying their Haudenosaunee passports are a part of their cultural identity. A Canadian Mohawk leader faulted the governments for not explicitly explaining travel rules for years, "It's typical. Having agreements overturned is not unusual. It seems to be the common behaviour for states when it comes to agreements with indigenous people. It shows the relationship that indigenous people have with governments; it's always that fork-tongued, two-faced government."
Their next match is tomorrow against Japan; they say they would need to leave NYC this afternoon in order to make it in time.