Niagara Gazette

Features

August 5, 2012

NATIVE GAMES: Lacrosse movie features three from Tuscarora reservation

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette —

”All my kids were there, my in-laws, uncles, and cousins too,” Bissell said. In the movie, the appearance of fans for the Crooked Arrows prompts the coach to ask his father how so many native fans were able to gather for the game. The father holds up his cell phone and smiles. “Smoke signals,” he replies.

The reviews for the movie have been pretty positive and lacrosse fans seem to love it,  

The plot involves a young native who has turned his back on his people to run a casino. His car license plates read “Wampum,” indicating his love for money and success.  When he asks the council for help to expand the casino, his father, the chief, barters with him, making him take a position as the “spiritual advisor” to the reservations’ lacrosse team. 

The movie has all the inspirational moments that fans of the genre seem to love, including suspense, romance, and inspiration, Bissell said. Beyond that, it was a unexpected joy to make, he added.

The young lacrosse players, recruited for the teams from around the nation, seemed to impress the filmmakers. “We were lighthearted and goofy the whole time,” Bissell said. “Even the people we worked with said we were like a breath of fresh air.”

Though the impact of the movie may not have registered at the box office, it did the native American communities right according to Weinholtz and the young Tuscarorans.

“When you’re born native, you’re pretty much born with a stick in your hand,” says Emmett Printup IV.  Emmett plays lacrosse for SUNY Onondaga in Syracuse, NY.  The NCJAA team has won 6 national titles in 7 years.

Bissell, also raised playing lacrosse, now has four children ages 1 to 8 who play — especially his 1-year-old, who he says is the most enthusiastic.

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