Focus Area: Youth Development
Grant Amount: $10,000
Located in Minneapolis. The Indigenous Lacrosse Alliance (ILA) works alongside Indigenous peoples and organizations to revitalize lacrosse in tribal and urban Indian communities. Developed in 2022 as an outgrowth of a strategic planning committee of Native community leaders, coaches, and players, ILA’s mission is to expand access and opportunity for Indigenous communities to play lacrosse and improve the health and well-being of Indigenous youth.
Grant supports a partnership between the Fond du Lac band, in northeastern Minnesota, and ILA. The lacrosse program will operate at the Brookston Center, a community center on the Fond du Lac reservation, and the Fond du Lac Tribal School. Created last year, it will expand to 75 youth ages 6-12. The groups meet 3 times a week and a meal is built in. Older youth serve as mentors for the younger youth. Indigenous youth have been facing many mental health challenges that were accelerated by the pandemic, and ILA is working to support them through traditional cultural practices and the sport itself.