By Ian Oakes 

Field House Plans to Bring Year Round Field Sports, Arts to Akwesasne


This is a rendering of what the sports facility may look like if approved.

Coming up on Monday, May 13th the first of three community meetings to discuss a proposed athletics field house in Generations Park will be held in the lobby at the Tribal Building at 6pm. The facility will house an indoor track, a soccer field and box lacrosse. Being indoors allows lacrosse, soccer, football, and track and field sports to be played all year round, giving players an edge, and allowing them to take their game to the next level.

The sports facility on its own might be a stretch for the community to accept, however this is not just a simple indoor sports complex. The real interesting component of this facility is that it houses a 350 seat theater. The theater will allow students interested in the arts a place to ply their craft. The theater will be significant as it allows the whole community to enjoy the arts, both from within the community and outside as well.

“Not everyone wants to be an athlete, but they shine in other areas that we as a community don’t acknowledge,” said Tribal Chief Ron LaFrance Jr. “We want to foster that, we realize that education is not a way out, it’s a way up.”

So to that end, and in addition to the theater, there are 4 classrooms, which can be used for tutoring or training. Children could receive JOM tutoring at any time, instead of waiting after school; they could drop into the facility get their homework done, and then go do what they are passionate about. An area that has been identified as an issue is that some kids are hitting college unprepared for the rigors of collegiate life, be it educationally or socially. A facility like this one allows programs to be delivered which address these critical educational needs, before there is an issue.

“With this building, it offers a lot of promise to the younger generations of Akwesasne. I had a comment well what if only one kid achieves succeeds from this? Well then it was a success! I measure success when that one kid achieved his dream, playing collegiate soccer, lacrosse, or getting into the drama program at NYU,” Chief LaFrance said.

Besides the meeting on May 13, there are meetings to follow May 20, and May 27. A referendum vote will be held on June 1, 2013. Do attend one of these meetings and find out about this exciting project.


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