faces and voices of the Native American lacrosse community. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

JACELYN: I’m Jacelyn. You can call me Jace. 

MIMI: Hi, I'm Mimi.

"> Jacelyn & Mimi Lazore: Sisters Stick Together | USA Lacrosse Magazine

Jacelyn and Mimi Lazore are seniors playing at IMG Academy in Florida and will head to Dartmouth in the fall.

Jacelyn & Mimi Lazore: Sisters Stick Together


This article, as told to Matt Hamilton, appears in the April edition of US Lacrosse Magazine, which includes a special 10-page section featuring faces and voices of the Native American lacrosse community. Don’t get the mag? Join US Lacrosse today to start your subscription.

JACELYN: I’m Jacelyn. You can call me Jace. 

MIMI: Hi, I'm Mimi.

JACELYN: We’re both from Akwesasne, on the border of Canada and Upstate New York. We grew up playing lacrosse and went to Salmon River High School just outside the reservation for about a year. About 35 percent of the school’s population was Native America. That actually had to teach people at the school about us and our culture. We went to a lacrosse combine near Syracuse and a coach connected us to Northfield Mount Hermon (Mass.), where we both went.

MIMI: Part of the reason that college coach connected us to Northfield Mount Hermon was because they believed that the school that we went to would not prepare us well enough for college. That just goes to show how education is not treated well enough in an area that’s mostly Native American. We have to leave home to get the proper education that coaches needed to be able to go to their college. There were some coaches that backed off us once they found out we were Native Americans because of all the stereotypes that come with that, like the idea that all teenage Native American girls are going to get pregnant and not be able to attend college, or go to college and get too homesick and drop out.


‘Since you’re Native American, I'm just going to warn you. We’ve had Native Americans come here, and you can’t drink and smoke and play lacrosse. Just so you know.’


MIMI: We also got the chance to play with the Haudenosaunee team in the FIL World Cup. As we were walking in and seeing the fans in the stands, and watching the games, heads were turning and mouths were dropping because we actually made it to England. Almost at the airport, we didn’t because they weren’t going to accept our passports and that was so frustrating. We arrived at 1 p.m. and we were getting on the same flight as team Canada. Team Canada arrived at 2:30 and they crushed right by us because they were using their Canadian passports. It was almost to the point where they were forcing us to use our other passports, which would take away the entire purpose of going to England as Team Haudenosaunee. It meant a lot that we even made it there.

JACELYN: After NMH, we had a connection that brought us to IMG. The school that we were at before, they had a lot of diversity in the school. You were embraced there. Flip it over and you come to this school — it’s very much like a business-type school. A lot of the kids we meet, they embrace materialistic things. Both Mimi and I had to only speak to people that want to listen. There’s a certain type of privilege. There’s a privilege to where ‘I have everything, but I want to listen to you.’ But there’s another privilege of ‘I have everything, so if it doesn’t affect me, I don’t care.’








JACELYN: Coming here, I had to take a physical to be able to play lacrosse. Within the first week, it was Welcome Week. I paired up with a doctor that was going to do the physical. He sits me down and he was like ‘Since you’re Native American, I'm just going to warn you. We’ve had Native Americans come here, and you can’t drink and smoke and play lacrosse. Just so you know.’ I didn’t even know his name yet. And then he just said that to me. It was hard because that was my first impression.”

MIMI: Here, being in the South, I do get very uncomfortable with the lack of support for minorities and the ideas that revolve around our President and they all support that. People that tend to support Trump don’t necessarily take into consideration how he's cutting so much funding to support Native Americans. For me, I have felt uncomfortable with even some conversations with higher up people. It was an innocent conversation, to begin with. It started off with a girl on our team talking about what kind of dog she just had. She bought the dog for $1,500. I was like “oh my gosh are you kidding me?’ I get all my dogs for free, because on the reservation there are a lot of dogs that run around. They’ll mate and we’ll have litters of puppies for us to take one for free. I was explaining that her and then the authority figure came in and said ‘Oh, I heard that’s how people are on your res, too.’ To not only degrade us to animals, but also give into a stereotype at the same time, and to go in and make a huge assumption about an entire group of people, it made me lose a ton of respect for that person.




PHOTO BY CASEY BROOKE

The Lazore sisters came to Florida from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation.


JACELYN: There’s a lack of confidence from generation to generation because we've been given such false hope that people start to believe it. It’s hard for us to speak up for ourselves. Lacrosse has opened doors for us, but it has also built our character. It’s a bigger thing than you, and it’s for the community as a whole. It’s going to teach people how to have confidence and speak up.

MIMI: The core of this issue would have to go back to the education and just being educated on the fact that Native Americans are still here and history is told by one point of view that isn't ours. One of my goals in my lifetime is to give back to my community and also fight for and advocate for rights for Native Americans. Bigger and better opportunities for the little kids because it changed my life to be liberated through education on the struggles and loss that made me feel like I should be proud to be Native American. I never want another kid to go through that.