Boy Scouts ‘have been one of the worst culprits’ of cultural appropriation

The beginning history of the group that would one day spawn the Boy Scouts began when in 1902, the future Boy Scouts founder Ernest Thompson Seton, owned property that had been vandalized by a group of boys from the local school. Instead of penalizing the young men, Seton instead invited the boys to his property for the weekend. During that time Seton allegedly told them stories of Native Americans, and shared with them the values he said were from Native customs and traditions. Archive photo circa 1904

A century of history: The Boy Scouts ‘origin story’ has claimed ‘Native teachings and spawned several factions claiming American Indian lore

Perhaps known, or unbeknownst to many Native tribes and communities, the Boy Scouts of America have been using an extensive amount of Native-themed adornments, Native-inspired regalia, and even full-fledged headdress in boy scout ceremonies, gatherings, and outings since the early 1900s.

Ironically, the 1900s were rife with Indian children being taken from their homes and were systematically forced to assimilate into white culture while attending religious organization run boarding schools. While Native American children in these schools were forced to stop speaking their languages and had to learn English while threatened with severe punishments, the early boy scouts were assimilating the Native culture that was so frowned upon.

Handbook for Boys
An early scouting handbook

In Native culture, showing Native culture was admonished, while in white culture, wearing Native ‘regalia’ was celebrated.

Today, the Boy Scouts of America is the largest scouting organization in the world, which holds the distinction of holding a congressional charter with a current membership of over 2 million youth and one million adult volunteers. With such numbers posting to social media, posting videos and more, the influence of how the organization might influence the view of Native culture through its own lens is a consideration to Indian Country.

Boy Scout’s origins based on ‘Native teachings’

The beginning history of the group that would one day spawn the Boy Scouts began when in 1902, the future Boy Scouts founder Ernest Thompson Seton, owned property that had been vandalized by a group of boys from the local school.

Instead of penalizing the young men, Seton instead invited the boys to his property for the weekend. During that time Seton allegedly told them stories of Native Americans, and shared with them the values he said were from Native customs and traditions.

Capture
The beginning history of the group that would one day spawn the Boy Scouts began when in 1902, the future Boy Scouts founder Ernest Thompson Seton, owned property that had been vandalized by a group of boys from the local school.

This group of young boys was taught Seton’s notions about American Indian traditions and culture when Ernest Thompson Seton created the group he decided to call the Woodcraft Indians. He also established the “Woodcraft Tribe” in which boys elected their own leaders, which included a chief, a second chief, a keeper of the tally, and a keeper of the wampum.

Seton decided to document his efforts in writing, thus the group received considerable acclaim due to several ‘Seton’s Boys’ articles that Seton wrote for Ladies Home Journal. The series of articles were later published as a booklet called the Birch Bark Roll.

Due to the group’s continued success, In 1906, Seton traveled to England and met with Lord Robert Baden-Powell and gave him a copy of the book Birch Bark Roll. Influenced by Seton, Baden-Powell eventually wrote Scouting for Boys, effectively merging the Woodcraft Indians into the early Boy Scouts of America. The Boy Scouts officially began in 1910.

Birch-Bark Roll of Woodcraft Indians

Over the next few years, the Boy Scouts created several meeting campgrounds and locations in the United States to include the Treasure Island Scout Reservation, which was where the affiliated organization Order of the Arrow was founded by camp director E. Urner Goodman and Carroll A. Edson.

The Order of the Arrow was an organization meant to encourage the adherence of scouting beliefs and customs well after adolescence. Though the Order of the Arrow was not created by the Boy Scouts, the organization has close ties to the Boy Scouts and the order still exists today.

Part 2 of 5 article posting September 16, 2019: Order of the Arrow is a ‘secret’ scout society ‘in the spirit of the Lenni Lenape’ - a Lenape leader disagrees 

Responses from Indian Country

As a contributor to the publication Voice of Scouting Maloree Anderson describes in her 2017 article Native American Adventures and Etiquette for Scouts:

Voice of Scouting

"Indian Lore has always been popular with boys in Scouting. Even Cub Scouts have adventures to explore this topic. The purpose of Indian lore within the Boy Scouts is not to be like Native Americans, but to enjoy some of their crafts, games, ceremonies, and culture."

"One of the obvious uses of American Indian culture within the Boy Scouts is the Order of the Arrow (OA). The OA puts a strong emphasis on the use of Native American customs. For example, members of the Order of the Arrow will participate in traditional Indian dances and ceremonies. The purpose is to not make fun of these dances and ceremonies but to instill the strong trait of brotherhood." cites Anderson.

However, advocates from Indian Country disagree.

‘The Boys Scouts 'have long been one of the worst culprits’

Kia Kima Totem Pole
Young scouts bow to a totem pole at the scout camp Kia Kima. Courtesy archive photo

Crystal Echo Hawk, Kitkehaki Band, Pawnee Nation, who is president of IllumiNative, says the Boy Scouts have long been aware of their missteps and need to be held accountable.

Crystal Echo Hawk of Echo Hawk Consulting, Pawnee, has been recognized as one of 12 Indian Progress in Business or INPRO award winners in 2018 as named by the National Center. Echo Hawk was named Native woman business owner of the year.
Crystal Echo HawkKitkehaki Band, Pawnee Nation, who is president of IllumiNative, says the Boy Scouts have long been aware of their missteps and need to be held accountable.

“The Boys Scouts have long been one of the worst culprits that have made cultural appropriation, stereotypes, misrepresentation and the blatant disregard of Native peoples a hallmark of its institution and practices. It’s leadership, members and supporters have insisted their egregious practices and behavior are about “honoring Native Americans.” They have been repeatedly asked to cease the practices of appropriation and misrepresentation by Native peoples because they’re offensive and cause harm.”

Echo Hawk also cited the research of her IllumiNative organization that directly addresses the negative impacts of Native cultural appropriation.

“IllumiNative’s groundbreaking research provides evidence how these practices of cultural appropriation, red face, dressing up in faux Native American costumes and the practices of perpetuating false narratives and stereotypes about Native Americans does the opposite of honoring Native peoples. It instead fuels misinformation, bias and racism.

Shelby Rowe, Chickasaw, who serves as the co-chair of the Indigenous Peoples Committee for the American Association of Suicidology told Indian Country Today in an email that such appropriation is a potentially contributing factor to Native teen suicide. Suicide is 70 percent higher than for any other group in the country.

“Cultural appropriation adds to the message we constantly get as Natives that our culture is dead, and that our existence is an inconvenience for society. It is not often seen as a public health issue, but I think that it should be. The Order of the Arrow not only fails to honor and preserve the traditions of American Indians, it could actually be increasing the risk of suicide for our Native youth, especially our boys, who consistently die by suicide at a greater rate than any other race or ethnicity. By presenting our cultures as that of a dying/extinct society, it leaves no space in the modern world for Native Americans to exist,” wrote Rowe.

“According to Dr. Thomas Joiner’s Interpersonal Theory of Suicidality, lethal and near lethal suicide attempts take place at the intersection of three risk factors: Thwarted Belongingness (I am alone), Perceived Burdensomeness (I have no purpose/my existence burdens others) and the acquired capability to kill (I am not afraid to die). For American Indians, centuries of genocide & policies to dismantle our nations, modern cultural appropriation and the persistent, ever present messages in media and society that show us as a dead/dying culture keep our people locked in the deadly intersection of factors that is claiming the lives of our young men.”

Sadé Ali, Mi’kmaq First Nation, is a Two Spirit elder. She wrote in an email that she has always had challenges with some of the doctrines and teachings of the Boy Scouts and says she considers them as “one of the most homophobic/transphobic organisations existing.” Ali also says she felt the cultural appropriation of the Boy Scouts was problematic.

“I have always viewed this practice of the Boy Scouts playing Indian as the highest, most offensive form of cultural appropriation. I had an encounter with a woman connected with the Order of the Arrow at a powwow I attended in Baltimore, Maryland, not so long ago and she came up to me and asked me the difference between my “costume” and that of the Head Dancer. RED FLAG! I told her that our regalia is not a costume and that we are from different tribes and each has their own design, their own colours, their own beadwork, ribbon work, or applique work.”

“She told me she was there to get ideas for her ‘costume’ for an upcoming Order of the Arrow get together and completely ignored my admonishment. I told her that what she was telling me was offensive, that our regalia has deep significance to us and what she was doing was cultural appropriation; which is something that we find highly disrespectful. She continued to rant about her ‘costume,’ letting my words pass over her as if she had not heard them.”

“Finally, I had had enough and asked her if she thought she would have wanted to play Indian when our people were being massacred on the plains in an effort to deal with the Indian problem or when our children were being ripped from the bosoms of their mothers, their communities, and their tribes, and placed into residential schools where they were beaten, raped and starved all with the intent to kill the Indian to save the man. I asked her if she would like to play Indian on some of our reservations where the nearest grocery store is 30 miles away and she doesn’t have transportation, or if she’d like to play Indian on the Highway of Tears in BC, or anywhere else on Turtle Island where our Native women and girls are going missing or losing their lives. She finally stopped talking and just walked away. My questions still stand,” wrote Ali.

Echo Hawk identifies changes that need to take place.

“We need the Boy Scouts to renounce these harmful policies, programs and practices and then the Boy Scouts must partner with tribes, Native educators, organizations and communities to create new comprehensive curriculum that teaches these boys accurate Native history and contemporary issues that includes the negative impact of cultural appropriation, stereotypes and racist mascots.”

Native cultural appropriation 2019

Based on articles such as the one written by Anderson, the Boy Scouts arguably believe they are honoring Native culture.

In the Boy Scouts, many non-Native dancers dress in regalia and perform dances, many sit in regalia and play music sitting around a large Native-style drum, and participate in makeshift ceremonies modeled after Native ceremony.

Boy Scouts Native American Google image search
A simple "Boy Scouts Native American" Google image search reveals hundreds of images of individuals in "regalia" - Screen capture

In an email to Indian Country Today, Misha Maynerick Blaise wrote to express her concerns about the Native cultural appropriation she says she experienced with her own family and son who was in the cub scouts. In an article by Blaise titled Creating Boy Scout Ceremonies Without Taking Native American Cultural Property, she discussed how the curriculum of the scouts was at first enjoyable but later took an odd turn into cultural appropriation.

'Three scouts from the Order of the Arrow in the Voice of Scouting article - screen capture
A screen capture from Misha Maynerick Blaise's article

“I was really disappointed when I attended our first Cub Crossover Ceremony. This is the event that commemorates the older Cub Scouts transitioning to become Boy Scouts. We were sitting in a small cafeteria-turned-auditorium where all of our pack events are held. Suddenly the lights went off and someone started hitting a frame drum slowly: Boom...boom...boom! When the lights went up, two teens dressed in full faux Indian costumes emerged and walked to the stage. 

Crossover ceremony - Blaise
Crossover ceremony photographed by Blaise.

They were wearing faux war bonnets along with a hodgepodge of leathery, fringy clothing that looked like cheap Halloween costumes. The teens began reciting a speech in a slightly accented English, “On behalf of our tribe, we welcome you to our sacred ground,” or some such," wrote Blaise.

Native-themed Boy Scout camps, merit badges and crossover ceremonies

Kia Kima Reservation
Screen capture

Regional scout summer camps such as the Kia Kima Scout Reservation, and the Boys Scouts of America Chickasaw Council, are among many “Native-themed” locations meant to embody the spirit of Native American culture.

The Kia Kima Scout Reservation is made up of two camps, Camp Osage and Camp Cherokee that are celebrating over 104 years of ‘adventures in the Ozarks.” In a 1935 photo on the site, titled “Kia Kima Totem Pole,” scouts are seen on their hands and knees while bowing to a totem pole. A 1958 photo shows a group of camp goers dressed up as Kia Kima dancers at a fourth of July celebration standing next to a tipi.

The Kia Kima Reservation activities have continued into 2019 as summer camp registrations took place in May of this year.

In addition to Kia Kima, there are other events modeled on Native themes to include the Boy Scouts’ BYU Merit Badge PowWow.

BYU Merit Badge Powwow
Boy Scouts’ BYU Merit Badge PowWow - screen capture

According to its website, “The BYU Merit Badge PowWow has been held for more than 57 years and is one of the largest BYU Scout PowWows in the United States. It is held twice a year on the beautiful campus of Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. More than 7,000 Scouts from Utah and other areas participate in the Spring and Fall PowWows.”

Will the Boy Scouts ever listen?

As Misha Maynerick Blaise wrote in her article regarding the experiences in the cub scouts, the likelihood of the Boy Scouts and other related organizations is likely a “Dead End Discussion” as her section header is labeled.

Blaise writes that she brought the issue of a faux American Indian performance she had witnessed at a Chaplain training in Spring of 2018.

“As long as you are talking about the respect of different faith traditions, it really shocked me to see the disrespect of Native American traditions that was in our troop’s Cub Crossover Ceremony.”

“The two leaders at the training did not see my point all; they assured me that the Boy Scouts only imitated Native Americans as a sign of respect! They claimed that all ceremonies are done with the blessing from American Indians, and Boy Scouts take this VERY seriously. The BSA is proudly honoring and preserving the great traditions of the American Indians, and would never do anything to disrespect these great people who they deeply care for.”

Blaise compared the issue to that of war veterans, stating that war medals have a similar conceptual basis of having to have been earned by the recipient.

In her quest to be transparent, Blaise stumbled upon an issue with what she called an “ironic twist.” During the chaplain training, she discovered that Urban Outfitters had been selling pre-patched Boy Scout shirts. One parent exclaimed, “They didn’t even earn these patches.”

Urban Outfitters Pre-patched Boy Scouts Shirt
Parents angered
Screen capture of a television article on parents angered over the selling of a scout shirt with patches.

A long way to go

In January of 2019, the Boy Scouts officially banned the wearing “Native-themed” regalia at crossover ceremony. Though this change is in place, photos of Native-themed crossover ceremonies are making their way onto Facebook and social media.

Currently, the Boy Scouts do encourage earning the “Indian Lore Merit Badge” as a “great way to get your scouts to learn about Indian Lore.” In order to get the badge, scouts must choose from ways to use sign language, ways to hunt or about ways of local tribes that according to Blaise, is rarely monitored in terms of actual outreach to tribes.

Merit badge workbook

As Anderson wrote in her article:

“As Scouts, it is your duty to honor the Native American culture. It is important for Scouting leaders (adult and youth) to instill a sense of respect when practicing some of the cultural dances, ceremonies, etc. Remember, the purpose of Indian Lore within the Boy Scouts isn’t to copy their practices but to appreciate them. What are ways that you and your scouts respect the Native American culture?”

It's not on the kids

Echo Hawk told Indian Country Today that she recognized that the majority of young men in the Boy Scouts are not aware of the harm done to Native culture and people. She cited findings in her IlluminNative organization study and issued an ultimatum regarding responsibilities of the Boy Scouts of America

“The majority of these young boys have no idea that what they are engaging in is harmful and wrong. Many of their parents also honestly do not understand it is wrong as well. Our research shows that almost 90 percent of schools don’t teach about Native peoples past 1900, that Native representation in media is less than .4 percent and that 72 percent rarely or never encounter information about Native peoples. Many people just don’t know better because the erasure and invisibility of Native peoples is so significant.

“We need to partner to educate and teach the Boy Scouts and youth involved how to be good allies. There is a really powerful opportunity to turn this horrifying practice of the Boys Scouts into a powerful movement for change that can have positive outcomes for these young men, their families, the institution and for all Native peoples,” said Echo Hawk.

“The time has come for the Boy Scouts to be held accountable and to finally cease these harmful and offensive practices immediately.”

Stay tuned for the full list of source materials and research links following the last of five articles.

Indian Country Today reached out to a considerable number of sources connected to the Boy Scouts, including troop leaders, upper administration, media relations and more. None of Indian Country Today’s requests for comments were answered.

Stories in the Boy Scout article series by Indian Country Today associate editor Vincent Schilling

Boy Scouts ‘have been one of the worst culprits’ of cultural appropriation

Order of the Arrow is a ‘secret’ scout society ‘in the spirit of the Lenni Lenape’ - a Lenape leader disagrees

The Tribe of Mic-O-Say dance teams regularly perform’ in ‘Native-style regalia’

How the Kansas City Chiefs got their name and the Boy Scout Tribe of Mic-O-Say

The Koshare museum raises money and its ‘Native’ dancers perform even after being told they shouldn’t

Native voice helped create the Boy Scouts, Charles Eastman ‘Ohiyesa’

Solutions for moving beyond appropriation in the 21st-century scouts. Star Wars?

ICT Phone Logo

Vincent Schilling, Akwesasne Mohawk, is Indian Country Today’s associate editor - He was also a cub scout and a Webelo.

Follow him on Twitter - @VinceSchilling and Instagram - @VinceSchilling

Email - vschilling@indiancountrytoday.com  

Comments (27)
No. 1-22
bernhaggerty
bernhaggerty

Thank you. This is a good, and much needed, story. I am eager to read the rest of the series.

Vincent Schilling
Vincent Schilling

Associate Editor

Thanks for your words Bern, much appreciated.

Kaedora
Kaedora

I've never been all that familiar with what goes on at scouting events. Reading this makes me so glad I never put my son in and after this I never will! This is disgusting and must stop! Thank you for writing this and I look forward to the rest!

ja crowder
ja crowder

As much as everything was Stolen from the Native Americans. Their land, So many was Murdered , Children Stolen and their Identity Stolen It makes Me Sick, Boy scouts need to stop all there mockery, Dishonor and stay with White Peoples Stuff. My great-grand Mother was Native American She was So hard to find on the census because she never used the same Name She Feared for her life and her children Since her Husband was murdered at 42 yr old They ruled it suicide with 2 gun shots to his heart A HUGE LIE.. They Don't care how many is murdered as long as there Dead . People still believe Native American did the Scalping when it was The White Man who did the Scalping to get Paid for each one they brought in.. So it was turned Back on them, Geronimo Spent his life in Prison Because the White man Said he could not be Killed In all reality They were Horrible shots, His bones were never returned to his People, I Can Truly Understand Why He hated The Whites & Mexicans They killed his Family, his first Wife and beat his baby on the Rocks, 2nd wife, His step kids, Brother Inlaw among others were Slaughtered . They have Feelings They had a Right to hate, They Lost everything , In the Dakota's There living in homes that has no floor, Roofs that leak, Unfit water to drink, Very little Money No Help and they shut off there Gas In the Winter NO HELP , They want them to all Die. . my granfather died when i was 8 yrs old so i had to learn on my own about my native Blood

Ccooper34
Ccooper34

This information is not historically correct. This is not how scouting began. Scouting was not based on native Americans. Scouting for boys was a military and wilderness guide to help young men. Read the book, look into the history of scouting which started in England long before 1910. What some groups did does not define all of scouting.

Mockylock
Mockylock

If you want to make a positive change and teach children who you truly are, meet with the world council and teach them about your culture. Tell them what you wish to change.

Nothing will be accomplished by attacking the incorrect ideals of a century old book, by which many people have never been taught is wrong. If they truly respect your culture as a whole, they will join you and make those needed changes.

Otherwise, I feel you should focus your attention on the "Redskins" and Seminole"tomahawk chops" of the world, who are likely far more damaging and outreaching when it comes to respect in relation to native culture. Many children like myself carried on the curiosity of this beautiful culture and read about genocide and actual horrors committed throughout history. It may be technically wrong, but it piques interest in finding the truth. I believe if you dig deeper into who has more respect for the native culture and interest in defending it, research those like myself and compare them to your average person off the street. I'd imagine the word "worst" will likely need to be removed from this headline.

David_47
David_47

I mentioned this at my little brother’s crossing over ceremony but my family thought I was crazy. I think many people genuinely don’t get it. Thank you for speaking up!

Scout master Rick
Scout master Rick

When I was growing up, our local chapter of the Order of the Arrow included heavy involvement by the Cow Creek band of the Umpqua tribe. We were often invited to events and taught about their traditions by their members. Perhaps I'm just to old to understand, but I don't see how that was wrong.
The Cub Scout Pack I currently lead doesn't have the Native American aspect incorporated in it. As the kids age, if there is an interest on their part, and if we can find a local tribe to support us, I would be happy to incorporate that into our program. Once again, I don't see how that is bad. Now I shouldn't be teaching native culture as I know nothing, but I also shouldn't be teaching at class and for the very same reason.

Jacob274
Jacob274

The Order of the Arrow has been around for nearly 100 years. In the past it has stolen the culture on accident, but now we work with local tribes to make sure that it's appreciation, not appropriation. We work with local tribes to make sure the regalia is correct, that we're not offensive (we never use an accent to talk) and that we have permission to do this. Not everybody likes it and you don't have to. Just be honest with yourself, are you mad that we "stole" your culture, or mad that other native Americans allow us to respectfully remember your traditions?

Seal Head
Seal Head

The BYU pow wow nonsense is even more annoying than the rest, given the "Lamanite" lie the BoM is built on, and the Mormon church's grotesque and predatory history of its treatment of "Lamanites".

mrchopsticks3
mrchopsticks3

Political correctness is a cancer on our society, and this article is no exception. Boy Scouts have done nothing but honor Indians and Native American traditions throughout its entire existence. These ceremonies and symbols are meant to honor Native culture and native people, but the Vincent Schilling and the PC crowd don't understand that concept in their two-dimensional, black-and-white world. Here's something people like Vince Schilling and Crystal Echo Hawk don't understand or choose not to understand: 99.9% of people in this country know nothing and care nothing about Indian culture or traditions. Boy Scouts do care and keep these traditions alive for future generations, Order of the Arrow especially. Unfortunately, the cancer that is political correctness and made up, meaningless terms like "cultural appropriation" have permeated every aspect of our society, to include Native society.

cgrainger
cgrainger

Wrong, The boy scouts was formed by Lord Baden Powell after WW1 in England, more specifically Brownsea Island. I would suggest a fact check.

PS if you need any documentation proving this feel free to reach out. I'm a Rover Scout and have no issues discussing the history of Scouts :)

nts
nts

This white culture you speak of is better defined as Americanism. It also stripped the identities of those people, many times including their family names, who came from Germany, Ireland, Scotland, all of the Nordic countries and such. The only ones it benefited were those from Britain. Which people incorrectly believe that all European peoples' are Anglos. But that's a whole other subject.

Apachemom1
Apachemom1

The Scouts were not intentionally being disrespectful of Natives, however, there were some issues that have arisen from adopting some of our traditions and customs. Being a Native mom, of Scout, I try to instill the culture and history on our Scouts. I used to have an issue with White people attending our Sweat lodge and would basically just ignore them. Then one of our Elders, a Veteran, said we should embrace them, teach them our ways that way they would be more apt to respect our culture. I treat the Scouts the same way; I educate them. Not only teach them our customs and traditions but explain why we do the things we do. In my opinion, the world would be a more peaceful place if more people learned and understood our way of life. We talk in a good way, we pray in a good way, we live in a good way...omitakyoasin

LivingAwake
LivingAwake

There is also a white man named Larry Olsen that contributed to the writing of the Boy Scout manuals. He and his business partner, Ezekiel Sanchez, a Totonac Indian from Mexico, created the Anasazi Foundation.

hohodene
hohodene

Ccooper34: in fact, this reporting is historically correct. See Philip Deloria's Playing Indian, a well-known source on this issue.

Linder
Linder

There is yet another form of cultural appropriation that involves the Boy Scouts. As an archaeologist in the Southwest, I was invited to see a local site where wickiups were still visible. The person leading the tour told us that wickiup sites were rare now, because in past decades the Boy Scouts who camped in the area dismantled wickiups to use the wood in their campfires. Another case of not respecting Native history.

Flybum
Flybum

The route your going down gets us no where, except ignored. I'm a product of forced relocation. Good can come from bad but it takes one to find the good and put the bad in prospective. Blameing suicide on boy scouts is the failure to look at ourselves. When we all work to over come our problems and not blame each other, then things get better. It's your choice but your headed in the same direction as your predecessor, failure.

EightHorses
EightHorses

As a Native American I DO think the Scouts HONOR Native American culture. They are NOT mocking it. There are legitimate complaints of negative cultural appropriation in this world but this is not one of them. Natives need to quit whining about the injustices of the past and WAKE UP to the injustices of NOW. Like how the current administration is waging war on Native America, and in a sense, the world, by ignoring CLIMATE CHANGE for one! Natives! Remember our traditional relationship with the land? The environment? THIS MATTERS! Do you see our Sacred Lands again being stolen and sold? Do you realize that this administration would like to ABOLISH TRIBAL SOVEREIGNTY? Abolish tribes? Think about THESE THINGS. Let our voices be heard about THESE things.

EightHorses
EightHorses

“ Costume” is a dirty word in Native American culture but in fact, the actual definition is perfectly valid. The word is derived from the word “ custom”. See definition from Merriam Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/costume

jqhensley
jqhensley

BSA has acknowledged its inappropriate use of Native American themed programs and is actively working with Tribes to correct this issue. I have found that most BSA members think they are honoring Natives while performing these practices and did not realize how offensive it really is. This has been an eye opening topic for many, and a chance to educate about the atrocities forced on Natives.

walks-alone
walks-alone

I went thru Boy Scouts in Queens NY, almost, 60 years ago, later in NJ- briefly, but I knew of the Order of the Arrow- we never dressed up, had ceremonies- what we see today, is part of the graphic representation our electronic culture thrives on.- but in some ways it does not misrepresent Native culture. it represents Modern culture-people want a show. i'm not condoning it- the Boy Scouts 100 years ago, was a means to get city kids ,outdoors, to learn hunting, being with nature- understanding what they were looking at. it added some moral sense to thier lives- my father at 90 could still rattle off the 10 boy scout creeds , kind ,courteous, considerate ,trustworthy, brave , loyal, thrifty-I can't at 70 -he lived by those ideals- not a bad plan-I doubt he ever dressed up either-trying to hold moral judgement, intellectualize ,, kids from the past-for being Boy Scouts.-