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Original Issue

Healing Sticks

Keepers of the Game, a movie that premiered at this year's Tribeca Film Festival and airs on ESPN2 this month, chronicles the 2015 season of an all--Native American girls' lacrosse team at Salmon River Central High in Fort Covington, N.Y. The school sits just off Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, where the sport was born as a sacred game for men, and the program is faced with budget cuts and community skepticism that girls should even be allowed to play the Medicine Game. As the Shamrocks fight their way toward the Section 10 Class C title, lacrosse becomes a means for reclaiming pride in their heritage and asserting their place on the modern-day athletic field. With an 11--2 record, they continue to make a statement. "We're here to play," says defender Marcella Thomas, "and we're going to earn everyone's respect."