Michael Kanatakeron Mitchell
Michael Kanatakeron Mitchell has been a driving force behind the recognition of Indigenous contributions to the game. He was born into a lacrosse family that had a great deal to do with stick-making for the world’s lacrosse community. Mitchell started playing the game with the Cornwall Island Braves Peewees, eventually making the Akwesasne Senior B team as a U17-aged player. In the ‘70s and ‘80s, he became the owner and general manager of Cornwall Island Thunderbirds. Mitchell built the Iroquois Lacrosse Association and was appointed to LC’s Board of Directors. Mitchell was eventually honoured with the Lester B. Pearson award in 2014, and went on to establish the Akwesasne Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Mitchell’s reach goes beyond lacrosse. He worked with the Native North American Travelling College (now Ronathahonni Cultural Centre) in producing literature supporting the game and Mohawk culture. He was honored as a First Nations Filmmaker in 2017 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Mitchell has served as a Faithkeeper for his people and Grand Chief of the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne.