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Women's lacrosse breaks new ground at Indigenous Games

BC lacrosse player Kiana Point had been waiting for this moment.

British Columbia lacrosse player Kiana Point shouts during a team huddle on Monday.

Chris Young/Canadian Press

British Columbia lacrosse player Kiana Point shouts during a team huddle on Monday.

Growing up, Kiana Point and her older brothers would play lacrosse in the backyard, passing the ball and taking shots at net.

Point loves lacrosse. Her older brothers and her dad, a two-time North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) lacrosse coach, pushed her to be better. But until recently, Point didn't think she'd be able to compete in the NAIG like her two brothers.

With this year's competition, which wraps up its sporting events Friday, she has her chance. For the first time, the Indigenous Games features women's box lacrosse.

"When I found out, I was so excited," said the 19-year-old from Vernon, B.C. She picked up the sport at age five and always played with boys growing up. She currently plays in a league in the BC Interior that only features one other woman.

"It's historic," Point told Metro, regarding the introduction of women's lacrosse. "Now it's my turn."

For this year's NAIG, lacrosse is being played in its birthplace. The Haudenosaunee people created it long before Europeans arrived in the Six Nations of the Grand River.

So not only does competing in NAIG give Point a chance to follow in her family's footsteps, but it's also a way for her to participate in a larger Indigenous tradition.

"To carry on the sport," she said.

After a loss to Eastern Door and the North (Quebec) on Thursday, Point's under-19 team from British Columbia will compete in the bronze-medal game Friday morning.

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