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The Indigenous Roots of Lacrosse: A Lecture with Neal J. Powless

March 16, 2023

Event Details

Date: March 16, 2023
Time: 6:00 pm
–7:30 pm

Join Greenwich Historical Society in welcoming Neal J. Powless of the Onondaga Nation as he shares an in-depth and detailed history of the indigenous roots of lacrosse and discusses the game’s significance and importance today. Deyhontsigwa’ehs, (they bump hips) also known as the Creator’s Game, has been with the Haudenosaunee (People of the Longhouse) since time immemorial as a gift from creation. The Haudenosaunee continue to play the game today with the same connection between sport and spiritual healing.

Neal J. Powless

Speaker Bio: Neal J. Powless

Hawhenawdies, Neal J. Powless, MS, NCC, and Ph.D. Fellow at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, is a traditional member of the Onondaga Nation and Eel Clan. He currently serves all Faculty, Staff and Graduate Students at Syracuse University as the University Ombuds, providing confidential, informal, independent and neutral conflict management and conflict resolution.

As a Co-Producer for the Major Motion Picture “Crooked Arrows”, Mr. Powless was responsible for Native story line development, cultural sensitivity and procuring financial investments. He Co-Produced the NY Emmy Nominated “Game of Life; Heart and Soul of the Onondaga”, a short documentary about the cultural origins of the game of Lacrosse, as well as collaborated with ESPN on multiple film projects.

Mr. Powless has taught courses and presented across the country for nearly 20 years about Indigenous culture and value systems. He is the Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Indigenous Concepts Consulting, a firm that he currently runs with his wife, Michelle, to bridge Native American ideals and culture with organizations and individuals all over the world. They are currently working on projects for a multi-dimensional media platform, curriculum development, an Indigenous health & wellness initiative and script development of another Major Motion picture with a major Studio label.

He is a producer and participant on the film: An Indigenous Response to #MeToo which is free on Vimeo. He has been screening the film and conducting community dialogues around sexual assault at college campuses and communities who have restorative justice programs. Also, in 2018, one of his Ph.D. papers was published in the book Nasty Women and Bad Hombres: Gender and Race in the 2016 Presidential Election.

Since 2014, Mr. Powless has coached the Netherlands National Lacrosse team, who’d current WORLD ranking is #8 for Box Lacrosse. He was a 3-time All-American, 7-years professional and competed in 6 World Lacrosse Championships. He was voted to the All-World Team in 2002. Mr. Powless has been inducted into numerous Hall of Fame’s and currently coaches professionally for the Binghamton Bombers.

He formerly served Syracuse University’s Office of Multicultural Affairs and Career Services. Mr. Powless has a Masters in Counseling from Syracuse University and a BS in Psychology from Nazareth College. His current Ph.D. researched is about Indigenous imagery in contemporary Major Motion Pictures. He resides in Upstate New York with his wife, Michelle Schenandoah-Powless and their 4 children.

Funding for this project is made possible by the State of Connecticut and the National Endowment for the Humanities, both of which provide significant support to Connecticut Humanities.