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Smithsonian NMAI’s 12th Annual Tewaaraton Awards Honoring Outstanding Lacrosse Players

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On Thursday May 31st, the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian will hold its 12th Annual Tewaaraton Awards. The Tewaaraton Awards, established in 2000 by the University Club of Washington, was created to honor the most outstanding male and female collegiate lacrosse players while also recognizing the American Indian heritage of the sport. Prior to the awards presentation, Oneida tribal member Ron Patterson will be demonstrating traditional lacrosse stick stringing.

In a letter from the Chairman on the Tewaaraton Foundation website, Jeffrey T. Harvey writes, “As we approach our 12th ceremony of the Award, it is clear that the connection between our current lacrosse heroes and the original warriors is one that distinguishes this Award from any other in sports. The University Club, steeped in its own history, made careful acknowledgement of the games beginnings, most notable through its name, 'Tewaaraton,' the word given by the Mohawk Nation of the Iroquois Confederacy to the sport we now call lacrosse."

Harvey also stated that the since its founding, the Tewaaraton Awards have been endorsed by the Mohawk Nation Council of Elders and US Lacrosse, which he calls a “meaningful validation from the authorities of both the native era and modern era.”

On April 25, the Tewaaraton Foundation announced twenty five women and men player nominees selected from a watch list announced on February 15th. On May 10th, ten finalists (5 women and 5 men) were selected and will be given the Tewaaraton Award on May 31st at the NMAI in Washington D.C. The men’s nominees include players from twenty schools and the female nominees include players from 17 schools and are as follows: Peter Baum, C.J. Costabile, Will Manny, Mike Sawyer Steele Stanwick, Brittany Dashiell, Becky Lynch, Katie Schwarzmann, Taylor Thornton and Michelle Tumolo.

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In addition to the primary Tewaaraton Awards, additional honors will be presented to include an annual Spirit of Tewaaraton Award which is presented to individuals involved in the sport of Lacrosse that “nobly reflect the virtues of the Tewaaraton Award and its mission, and who, over the course of his or her life, has made a significant contribution to society and the lives of others," the Tewaaraton website states. Past recipients include Dick Edell, Diane Geppi-Aikens, Sid Jamieson, A.B. “Buzzy” Krongard and Roy Simmons Jr. This year’s Spirit of Tewaaraton recipient announced May 3rd, 2012 is former Cornell University men’s lacrosse coach Richie Moran.

Additionally, The Tewaaraton Legends Award is presented an exemplary collegiate lacrosse player that played prior to 2001 before the first Tewaaraton Award was presented, who’s performance during their college years would have earned them a Tewaaraton Award had the award existed when they played. This year’s recipient is Eamon McEneaney, from Cornell University.

The bronze Tewaaraton Trophy, designed and created by Frederick Kail, features a bronze Mohawk lacrosse player in a loincloth and golden eagle feather. It is mounted on a hexagon-shaped slab of black granite to symbolize the Six Nations of the Iroquois Confederacy: The Mohawk, Cayuga, Oneida, Onondaga, Seneca and Tuscarora tribes. The stick is a replica of a pre-1845 Cayuga stick belonging to the grandfather of Alexander T. General of the six Nations Reserve in Ontario.

The event will take place on Thursday May 31st with a VIP reception at 6:30 PM, a 7:15 PM general reception with the awards ceremony beginning at 8:15 PM – for more info visit