The Rochester Knighthawks announced today the team will host Native American Heritage Night, presented by Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, on Saturday, Feb. 11 when they host the Halifax Thunderbirds at Segar & Sciortino Field at The Blue Cross Arena.
Now in its second year, the night will celebrate and support Native American groups in addition to honoring their history in the region. The game itself will feature various content, activations, ticket promotions and merchandise themed around Native American Heritage and the vital role Indigenous peoples have played in the history of the “Creator’s game.”
American Legion Iroquois Post 1587 will present the flags while Seneca Nation Councilor Jeff Gill will be on hand to perform the ceremonial face-off. The game will also feature performances from the Heath Hill & Haudenosaunee Dancers as well as popular Native Enthusiast DJ Ransum. A video, featuring Seneca artist Jocelyn Jones, will be played on the video board to help bring awareness to the culture and community.
The night is also part of a larger league-wide campaign supporting the “Every Child Matters” initiative, which brings awareness to the forcible placement of Indigenous children in residential and boarding schools by the Canadian and United States governments from the 19th century to as late as 1996 in Canada.
As part of the organization’s support of Western New York’s Native American community, and through their partnership with Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, the Knighthawks are offering discounted tickets to various groups in the Native Community, including Native American Community Services.
Highlighting the night is a commemorative logo designed by award-winning contemporary Native American artist Cara Dry. Raised on the Seneca Allegany Reservation in Salamanca, NY, Dry is a member of the Haudenosaunee people whose art is inspired by the famous works of the Iroquois.
The special-edition logo, which embodies her Native American roots, depicts a traditional wooden lacrosse stick made of bent hickory consisting with a pocket of woven rawhide. A deerskin ball, portraying the Iroquois’ longstanding influence on the origins of lacrosse, sits inside the pocket. The feathers adorning the Gustoweh are that of a hawk, representing the Knighthawks organization and how all Native Americans revere birds and birds of prey.
The customary Gustoweh, worn by all member nations in the Iroquois Confederacy, is one inspired by the Seneca Nation with a singular feather pointed upward. The center band features two lacrosse players, paying eternal tribute to the past, present and future players of lacrosse. The overall design of the logo pays homage to the George Washington Belt, which represents the ratification of the of the 1794 Canandaigua Treaty, honoring the treaty between the Haudenosaunee and the United States of America.
Limited edition T-shirts, in both men’s and women’s sizes, featuring Day’s Knighthawks design will be available for purchase in the Knighthawks Team store. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of each shirt will benefit the Language Nest and Buffalo Seneca Youth Program.