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BayHawks Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

November 1, 2019 - Major League Lacrosse (MLL) - Chesapeake Bayhawks News Release

ANNAPOLIS, MD - November 1st kicks off Native American Heritage Month, a national celebration of North America's indigenous people. Started in 1990 by President George H. W. Bush, the month-long event has grown in its upholding of native ancestry and traditions.

As part of Native American Heritage Month, the Chesapeake Bayhawks will be attending a pair of events to honor this nation's native peoples and the roots of the Creator's Game.

On November 1st, the Bayhawks will be attending the 2019 American Indian Heritage Month Kick-Off Celebration which is presented in part by the Maryland Commission on Indian Affairs (MCIA). This event, held in Rockville, MD, will feature a panel discussion, award ceremony and performances all centered around the theme of "tribal leaders making a path in today's world."

Later in the month, on November 14th, the Bayhawks will visit the Embassy of Tribal Nations located in Washington, DC. This embassy, which opened in 2009, serves as the headquarters for the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) and allows for tribal leaders to discuss important issues in Indian Country with world leaders.

The Bayhawks are honored to have two Native Americans on their team: Brendan Bomberry and Lyle Thompson. Bomberry, an offensive midfielder who is from the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, joined Chesapeake for his first professional season in late May. Over his first season, "Bomber" scored 19 points on the strength of 15 goals and was named a Major League Lacrosse All-Star.

Thompson, who is from the Onondaga Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy, played his third season with the Bayhawks this year. The generational attackman captured his first Major League Lacrosse title in 2019 while leading the league in goals (46) and points (73), and capturing Offensive Player of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors. Thompson was also named as an all-star game captain in 2019, selecting fellow Iroquois, Bomberry and Atlanta Blaze attackman Randy Staats (Mohawk), as teammates.

"I always say that I was born into the game of lacrosse, and not just because my father and grandfather both played the sport. The game is tied to our culture," said Thompson in an interview with Forbes.

"It's sort of an Iroquois tradition that when a young male is born that he is given a wooden stick. With it, you're taught respect and the value of keeping and passing down traditions. And also, lacrosse is the main sport played in our community around Syracuse, and in many Native American communities," Thompson said. "We've always played it, we always will."

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