WCNY to present local documentary ‘The Game of Life, Heart and Spirit of the Onondaga’

WCNY will present a new documentary about the origins of lacrosse called “The Game of Life, Heart and Spirit of the Onondaga” Saturday, Aug. 25, at 10:45 p.m. on WCNY channel 24.1.

The documentary was filmed on location at the Onondaga Nation, which also produced it in cooperation with the office of Electronic Media Communications at Syracuse University. “The Game of Life, Heart and Spirit of the Onondaga” explores the cultural and spiritual significance of Lacrosse to the people of the Onondaga Nation. Lacrosse, known as the creator’s game by the Onondagas, has its origins deep within the customs and beliefs of the Six Nations people.

“As Central New York’s only locally-owned broadcast station, WCNY is proud to share this compelling, locally-produced documentary with viewers throughout the 19 counties we serve,” said Robert J. Daino, WCNY’s President and CEO. “We believe that this documentary will promote greater understanding and appreciation of our region’s rich Native American heritage.”

Interviews with players, tribal leaders and coaches help tell the story of the sport that has grown to span the world. The Onondaga Nation’s involvement with feature film “Crooked Arrows” is featured as well as its connection with Syracuse University through the Haudenosaunee Promise program. The Haudenosaunee Promise is a unique opportunity that offers full tuition scholarships to Six Nations students to attend Syracuse University.

Neal Powless, a three-time All American in lacrosse and assistant director of the Native Student Program, co-produced the documentary.

“Many Native communities through the United States and Canada struggle with educating the community about the heritage of Native Americans,” he said. “Documentaries such as this strive to educate people through the media.”

“The Game of Life, Heart and Spirit of the Onondaga” will be featured at the Syracuse Film Festival in October.

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