Because If There's Anything Native Americans Love To Do, It's Rely On English & American Governments

via www.oneidanation.org

Common sense.  It's something that 99.9% of us have and use on a daily basis.  Sometimes it's based on things you learned and other times it's based on instinct.  Malcolm Gladwell readers would remind you it's probably the first thing that pops into your head when presented with a dilemma. It's the thing in your brain (and heart) and that says, "This is the right decision regardless of what the situation is or processes dictate."

This is one of those situations where common sense remains sadly unused.

The World Lacrosse Championship is being held, for some reason, in Manchester from July 15th to 24th.  It's the largest championship to date with 30 nations competing.  Nations you didn't even think knew lacrosse existed will be on hand, including Latvia, Hong Kong, Poland and Italy.  Of course, the United State are sending a team but they're not the only team coming from the USA. 

The Iroquois Nation (or Five Nations as you might know them) are also sending a team.  The team features Syracuse stars Cody Jamieson. Jeremy Thompson & Sid Smith. Considering the sport goes hand-in-hand with the Native Americans who created it, it only seems right that they have a representative.  I mean, if Latvia's going...

The Team has been traveling abroad for years.  They've traveled near (Canada) and far (Australia, Japan) and there has never been any kind of issues.  Of course not. 

But if anyone knows how to make life on Native Americans, it's the English.  They might be out of practice but the UK jumped right back into old form this week when they denied the Iroquois entry into the country so that they could play the sport they invented.

England would not let the team into the country because some team members and staff travel on passports issued by the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois confederacy), said Ansley Jemison, the team’s general manager. The British officials wanted confirmation that the United States will allow them back into the country, he said.

"There was an issue when (officials) said, ‘Are you an American citizen, a U.S. citizen, whatever your citizenship is,’" Jemison said. "Our people had a hard time answering that. We identify ourselves as who we are: We are indigenous people of North America, and that line was drawn in the sand by somebody other than us."

Oh dear.  Okay, fine.  I get it.  Post 9/11 world and all that.  Sure.  So let's get on the horn with the United States of America and work this out.  Surely, via the usage of common sense, the US will explain the whole situation to England, the notion of reservations and nations and how things work and everyone can be happy, move on, play some lacrosse, honor their ancestors and move on with our lives.

Here's the snag: the U.S. government has not guaranteed entry back into the United States for those players traveling on passports issued by the Iroquois nation, Abrams said.

England demanded a letter from U.S. authorities promising to allow re-entry to the Iroquois players after the tournament. When Homeland Security refused, England declined to give the team members visas.

Sigh...

And so, the Iroquois team is left to scramble just to make the tournament.  Today in NYC, the team will get biometric scans, pay a $5,000 fee to process their visas and then re-submit their applications. According to a team spokesperson, the club is going to be out somewhere in the neighborhood of $23,000 due to hotel rooms, flight changes and general expenses.  And none of this even means they'll make the tournament, which begins Thursday. The team has to leave by Tuesday night in order to get there in time and there's no guarantee of that.

"I don’t think a lacrosse team full of world-class athletes poses much of a threat to homeland security. All we’re doing is going to play a game and all we want to do is come home and have the United States and Canada be proud of us."

See, now that's coming from someone with a little common sense.

Update: If you want, you can join a Facebook group to show your support for the team.  You can also contact some folks at the U.S. White House & State Department to ensure the team can travel ASAP. Send email to Kimberly_K.TeeHee@who.eop.gov; A.Gillette@who.eop.gov; JodiA._Gillette@who.eop.gov; miltonkm@state.gov; and sicadelm@state.gov

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