Lacrosse is more than a sport to American Indian people
The game of lacrosse is a gift from the Creator, given to the American Indians in the long ago. But Travis Skinaway doesn’t know the full story of the game: he only knows that he struggles to catch the ball and tends to throw it over the other boys’ heads. Maybe he’s not built right to run the field. His teammates and coach seem to think he’s hopeless, anyway.
Travis is ready to hang up his gear, but then his grandfather appears in a dream, explaining to him that lacrosse is a spiritual quest, just like a prayer, a song, or a dance. Mom doesn’t believe Travis’s story, but Grandma knows: she says dreamtime is just as real as awake time.
Grandpa continues to visit Travis, sharing details about the different styles of play, the types of equipment, the various traditions among the tribes. Wearing his grandfather’s gear, Travis gains confidence as he practices with the team. When opportunity strikes at the big game, he carries the durable weight of tradition onto the field with him, celebrating skills handed down through generations.
Perfectly paced, The Creator’s Game is a terrific book.
— Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children’s Literature
About the author
Art Coulson (Cherokee) was born in Honolulu and spent his childhood years traveling the world as the son of a sailor. For 23 years, he worked as a daily journalist in cities across the United States and wrote an award-winning column about contemporary American Indian issues. After his journalism career, Art served as executive director of the Wilma Mankiller Foundation in Tahlequah, OK. A resident of the Twin Cities, Art frequently returns to the Cherokee Nation to visit with family, to play traditional stickball and to improve his knowledge of the Cherokee language.
About the illustrator
Robert DesJarlait (Anishinaabe, Red Lake), cofounder of Protect Our Manoomin, is an artist and activist who also illustrated Meridel LeSueur’s Sparrow Hawk.