School students and the AMPS members
It's nearly 10 am in the morning at Kanata:kon School. A man
walks through the main school entrance and out to the backdoor of
the school to the ball field. He is wearing sneakers and is dressed
in all black with a t-shirt that has 'POLICE' written on the back.
This officer meets up with other Akwesasne Mohawk Police Service
(AMPS) members who are gathered out back at the ball field. Their
police vehicles line Second Street in Kanata:kon. They've never
competed as a kickball team before, but they are looking to dominate
the field today.
At the ball field, along the wire fences sit student spectators
from Pre-K, K and grades 1 and 2. With noise makers shaped like
slices of watermelon and colorful metallic pompoms in hand these
students are here to cheer on their fellow school mates. Although
a bit chilly and cloudy, passion and excitement fill the air as
Team Kanata:kon makes their way onto the field, running through
a decorative banner.
Last year, Kanata:kon School students competed in a kickball
game against their parents. This year Missy King, computer/art/
gym teacher, decided to coordinate with the AMPS to host a kickball
game, a first-of-its-kind. During the school year Missy King organized
many different field trips and activities for her students. Most
recently, grades 3, 4 and 5 were rewarded with a hiking trip to
Azure Mountain. Hopefully, Kanata:kon School will continue to offer
similar events and activities for their students in the years to
Student spectators chanted, "Han:io Skawatsira," on
the sideline and teachers cheered, yelling at the top of their lungs.
An AMPS team member manning home plate whispered to a student
as he made his way up to kick. He was trying to outwit and trick
the student of the opposing team. An on-looking teacher caught sight
of this and loudly shouted, "Tohsa entsiatahonsatat."
The game intensified when Team AMPS challenged students to aim
and hit a parked police vehicle positioned behind second base. If
Team Kanata:kon could hit the vehicle they would gain an instant
5 run advantage over Team AMPS, putting them ahead in the game.
In the days leading up to the big game many details were not
settled, but by Wednesday morning everything seemed to be going
according to plan. Initially, nine AMPS officers arrived at 10 am
for the start of the game. Additional officers and AMPS trainees
soon showed up to challenge the Kanata:kon School students. Team
AMPS members included Ranatiiostha Swamp, Kariwate Mitchell, Raweras
Mitchell, Jeremy Reddick, Jim Ritchie, Nathan Thompson, Justin Delormier,
Vaughan Starblanket, Eddie Thompson, Jim Sunday, Mac Mitchell, Rob
White, Leroy Swamp, Wallace Thompson, LeeAnn O'Brien, Rachel Thomas,
Aronienens Porter, Corey Thomas, Brandon Swamp and Norman King Jr.
attempts to tag AMPS player Jim Ritchie
Team AMPS put up an impressive fight, but Kanata:kon team took
the win on Wednesday June 8, 2016. The rules were changed up a bit
to favor Team Kanata:kon, rather than sticking to the normal three
outs students were given the advantage of five outs allowing the
team to gain additional scoring opportunities. This led to a rally
of runs for Team Kanata:kon putting them ahead of Team AMPS. Mostly
every game participant touch home plate scoring for their respective
After an hour of entertaining competition the two teams came
together to take photos. Team AMPS received an honorary poster signed
by the participating students in grades 4, 5 and 6. The brightly
decorated poster read, 'Nia:wen kowa for taking the time to play
kickball with our classes.'
Team AMPS was then invited to eat lunch by Team Kanata:kon as
an expression of their appreciation. At the BBQ luncheon Team AMPS
members took time to interact with the students one on one. As the
event concluded everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time watching
and playing the childhood game of kickball.