TUNICA-BILOXI TRIBE OF LOUISIANA TO HOST 3rd ANNUAL STICKBALL CLINIC & EXHIBITION
Tribe Encourages Public To Participate In Historic And Cultural Sporting Event
Marksville, La. – The Tunica-Biloxi Language & Culture Revitalization Program (LCRP) will host its 3rd Annual Stickball Clinic & Exhibition for boys and girls ages 10 -16. This historic sporting event will take place on Saturday, February 17, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Chief Joseph A. Pierite Pow Wow Grounds on the Tunica-Biloxi Reservation in Marksville.
Troy and Krista Langley and players from the Alabama-Coushatta stickball team of Livingston, TX will lead a clinic on basic skills, rules and safety of the game. Afterwards, the Alabama-Coushatta Team will play an exhibition game and then support workshop participants in scrimmage games. Participants will be grouped by size for the scrimmage games.
The workshop is open to the general public along with members of regional tribal communities in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi for a $10 fee. Tunica-Biloxi tribal children may register free of charge. All interested parties are encouraged to register to play or join the viewing party by Monday, Feb. 12.
Following the stickball clinic and exhibition games, LCRP will host a cookout for participants. Space is limited. Participants must pre-register. Parent(s) must accompany children to the clinic.
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Native American stickball is considered to be one of the oldest team sports in North America. Stickball and lacrosse are similar to one another, the game of lacrosse being a tradition belonging to tribes of the Northern United States and Canada; stickball, on the other hand, continues in Oklahoma and parts of the Southeastern U.S. where the game originated. Although the first recorded writing on the topic of stickball was not until the mid-17th century, there is evidence that the game had been developed and played hundreds of years before that.
Stickball was especially popular among Southeastern Indian tribes, including the Tunica-Biloxi. Stickball was played by tribal members regularly through the mid 20th century and gradually disappeared. Choctaw communities in Mississippi, Coushatta in Louisiana, and the Alabama-Coushatta of Texas still have active stickball programs. Players and coaches from the Alabama-Coushatta community will lead a stickball clinic and exhibition on the Tunica-Biloxi reservation.
More than just a game, stickball builds body and spirit through exercise when played by all age groups—children, youth, and adults. Many games have roots in ancestral tests of strength and sport that reinforced group cooperation and sharpened survival skills in often hostile environments. For warriors, the games helped maintain their readiness and combat skills between times of war. The gradual shift to a more sedentary lifestyle has highlighted the need to reawaken interest in physical activity, especially among Native youth. Promoting stickball could once again become an important part of improving the health and well-being of the Tunica-Biloxi people.
As the Tunica-Biloxi strive to preserve and revitalize traditional life-ways it is necessary to provide community educational forums that will perpetuate knowledge and usage of these cultural elements. The Stickball Clinic & Exhibition provides an opportunity to explore traditions that are both unique and shared by neighboring indigenous communities.
About the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe
The Tunica-Biloxi people first appeared in the Mississippi Valley. In the late 1700s, they settled near Marksville, where they were skilled traders and entrepreneurs. Today, the Tribe has more than 1,200 members throughout the United States, primarily in Louisiana, Texas and Illinois.
The Tunica-Biloxi Tribe received federal recognition in 1981 for its reservation within the boundaries of Louisiana. The tribe owns and operates the Paragon Casino Resort, the largest employer in Central Louisiana. Through its compact, negotiated by the late Tribal Chairman Earl J. Barbry Sr. and the State of Louisiana, the Tribe has assisted local governments in the area with its quarterly distribution of funds, totaling more than $40 million over two decades. For more information about the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe of Louisiana, visit www.tunica.org and “like” us on Facebook.
MEDIA CONTACT: Dominique Ellis, (504) 250-0030, firstname.lastname@example.org
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