All these are hot issues of today, in relation to Native Americans.
Where would you expect to see such behavior?
Can you believe, your own home town?
Can you believe, your children are exposed to it inadvertently?


What we are talking about are certain public organizations that can be found in almost any community.

These organizations are not necessarily out to offend anyone. They are not out to discriminate against anyone. They do not attempt to stereotype anyone. Nor do they necessarily practice racism. At least that is what the organizations will tell you. And they are correct... sort of.

Out of the guise to honor other cultures, and the desire to deliver a message, the stereotypical behavior begins. It does not begin out of malice for others, it is primarily out of ignorance. Many people involved are simply given instruction on how to raise interest in their organization, however, often times that instruction is lacking in cultural respect for Native Americans.

This site has been set up to make people aware of the issue. The authors of this site have all been volunteers in similar organizations for many years. We all like the programs that are provided for the benefit of the public. What we don't like is the use of inappropriate Native American themes used to send messages to the kids.

To explain our point, we have compiled many different articles and sites that each tell a little story about a current struggle around the country. These have not been modified from their original published content. Our intent is to show, by example, how people can be offended by actions of others even if the original action was meant in good spirit.

In an attempt to influence policy changes within one organization, Boy Scouts of America (BSA), here is a copy of some of the correspondence with BSA officials on this topic:

Letter sent to Indianhead Council concerning district name.
Follow up to Indianhead Council
Response from Indianhead Council

Letter sent to National concerning policy of Indian themes.
Response to National letter
Reply back to National about their response a phone response followed this letter to avoid a written trail of conversation.

Article sent to National for publication in a national periodical
Response from National regarding the article

Click here to view photos of Boy Scout ceremonies

 Here is an article relating to NOAC (a Boy Scout only competition pow wow with 7,200 participants), recently held (August, 2002) in Bloomington, IN.

See anything offensive here? This is a poster in PDF format that Order of the Arrow (a segment of BSA) published.

Some Scouts are so proud of their actions they post them on the internet. Here are a couple of Ceremonial and Dance teams:

Order of the Arrow Hunkpapa Chapter

Indian Dance
Feb/March ceremonies

Ceremony Team

Chactaw Chapter 2001 OA Callout Ceremony

Blue and Gold ceremony

Onondaga Lodge Dance & Drum Pictures

Tuckahoe Lodge #386

Wiatava Lodge

Other similar groups  


Boys Team
Girls Team


Ranks and Responsibilities


A success story in our fight against misuse of Indian themes in kids programs: http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/119428_yguides26.html

If you would like to voice your opinion on this topic, or view other comments,
please do so by going to our
Discussion Forum.

List of common Stereotypes

Books relating to Indian Identities

Links to Articles on web sites

Links from Indian Country Today

Links from The Circle

Links from Native American Press/Ojibwe News

Links from Various sources


So, you are in the BSA and want to "play Indian"

After having countless scouters ask "why don't you help teach us instead of bashing the BSA?" I have posted here a 108 page document in both PDF and HTML that provides direction on the "right" way to do many things.
This document was written for a specific lodge locally, but most of the concepts can be applied elsewhere.

HTML Format:

The Tonkawampus Lodge Guide to The American Indian Culture

PDF Format:

The Tonkawampus Lodge Guide to The American Indian Culture


Who wrote this site?

Contact us