PNW Native Lacrosse’s mission: Respecting and teaching the game

PNW Native Lacrosse coach JD Elquist.

PNW Native Lacrosse coach JD Elquist.

PNW Native Lacrosse, based in Pierce County, strives to empower Native communities through its programs and initiatives.

The organization states: "Our vision is to foster a future where lacrosse is not just a sport but a catalyst for empowerment among Native youth."

The group aims to use lacrosse to improve participants' physical, mental, and spiritual wellness.

JD Elquist oversees the program and coaches the Bellarmine boys high school lacrosse team, in addition to coaching with the Puget Sound University Lacrosse Club.

PNW Native Lacrosse offers programs to support Native youth and preserve cultural traditions through lacrosse in Pierce County. The organization provides youth clinics to introduce Native youth to lacrosse through basic skill training like passing and shooting. These sessions also incorporate cultural activities such as storytelling and traditional crafts, emphasizing physical fitness, teamwork, and mental resilience.


Regarding competitions and tournaments, PNW Native Lacrosse organizes opportunities for Native teams, including forming an all-Native lacrosse team for regional and national tournaments. They also host inter-tribal tournaments to foster community spirit and friendly competition.

Additionally, PNW Native Lacrosse conducts Cultural Exchange Programs to educate players and community members about tribal traditions related to lacrosse. They collaborate with local schools, tribal communities, and cultural organizations to highlight the sport's cultural significance. Mentorship programs are also provided to nurture lacrosse skills and personal growth among young participants.

Looking ahead, PNW Native Lacrosse plans to expand Youth Clinics to more tribal communities in the Pacific Northwest. They also aim to preserve lacrosse history through oral history recordings and workshops on traditional stick crafting. These initiatives are geared towards strengthening community bonds, celebrating cultural heritage, and empowering Native youth through lacrosse.


The PNW Native Lacrosse program has garnered acclaim within the lacrosse community in Pierce County and the region. Tim Luce, a member of the local lacrosse media in the Northwest and an announcer for several local Pierce County High School teams, including Rogers and Graham-Kapowsin, has expressed admiration for PNW Lacrosse.

"I believe and appreciate what he's doing to revive Indigenous culture within lacrosse. This reminds us that this game is medicine, the creator's gift to all, and the heritage it was built on should be remembered, respected, and carried on for generations," Luce said.

Regarding the organization's leadership, Luce added: "Personally, it's refreshing to see a man making a difference and positively impacting his community. In a world where it seems few take the initiative, JD Elquist goes above and beyond."


PNW Native Lacrosse strongly advocates empowering Native communities in Pierce County and beyond. By blending lacrosse with cultural activities, promoting community spirit, and reaching out across the Pacific Northwest, PNW Native Lacrosse teaches essential skills and supports the physical, mental, and spiritual well-being of Native youth. Their dedication to preserving lacrosse history and celebrating Indigenous culture has earned them praise from local supporters like Tim Luce, highlighting their significant role in fostering unity and pride among Native communities. As PNW Native Lacrosse continues to expand and innovate, it remains committed to using sports to bring positive change and preserve cultural heritage.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment