MINNEAPOLIS, MN – The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee (MNSBHC) Legacy Fund today awarded Twin Cities Native Lacrosse (TCNL) a $50,000 grant to help fund the organization’s efforts to provide Native American youth in the Twin Cities with free field time, league registration, lacrosse equipment, and transportation.
The grant is part of the 52 Weeks of Giving campaign, a year-long effort to make Super Bowl LII a statewide event by awarding 52 communities with grants that will help improve the health and wellness of young people in Minnesota.
TCNL is a small, non-profit organization founded in 2014 to promote exercise and a healthy way-of-life by engaging Native American youth and families in traditional Dakota/Ojibwe style-lacrosse and modern-style lacrosse. TCNL instills cultural values and knowledge around the game of lacrosse and provides free access to lacrosse equipment, transportation to practices and games, and participation in competitive league play. This summer the league will compete in the 2017 North American Indigenous Games in Toronto, Canada - an Olympic-style competition for Native American/First Nations youth from the U.S. and Canada.
To commemorate the MNSBHC Legacy Fund grant dedication, Twin Cities Native Lacrosse hosted an event at Corcoran Park today with players from the first all-female all-Native lacrosse team. Community leaders, families, and youth joined the celebration and participated in a traditional lacrosse game.
“Many times the price of participation in sports like lacrosse can prevent kids from playing,” said John Hunter, Director and Coach, Twin Cities Native Lacrosse. “Our organization was founded to remove that burden from these young people and their families and to help them stay active and learn about the roots of this sport and Native American culture. This grant will help us continue our efforts to provide children with better access to the sport in our community.”
Twin Cities Native Lacrosse’s core coaching approach focuses on Native American values around kinship responsibilities and honoring the game. Participants are not required to have Native American ancestry to join a team, only a desire to learn lacrosse and values rooted in traditional teachings. The organization accepts any young person who wants to play, prioritizing athletes from underserved families and neighborhoods; it emphasizes the importance of equity in sport by encouraging girls and boys of all ages to play lacrosse.
“Twin Cities Native Lacrosse is doing an excellent job working with native youth to increase physical activity and to continue the tradition of this sport that means so much to the history and culture of Minnesota,” said Dana Nelson, Vice President of Legacy and Community Partnerships for the MNSBHC Legacy Fund.
The Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee is a private, non-profit corporation formed to plan and execute Super Bowl LII. For more information visit www.mnsuperbowl.com and follow @mnsuperbowl2018 on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.