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About Burnside

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  1. The reason I posted the question on this forum, at the suggestion of a fellow scout who visits the site, was to learn what I did not know about the use of Native references and ceremonys in scouting, because to my own sensibilities it felt uncomfortable. I appreciate many of the informed responses and was very glad to learn of the partnerships between many scouts and their local Native communities. I hope that is the norm, but I don't know if it is or not, and it seems to me that if we are going to incorporate such important references from another culture (particularly one which our
  2. Glad I asked! Interesting responses, I appreciate the information shared. For the record, I never suspected actual intent to offend; yet given the historical relationship between Native Americans and European Americans, I think it is worth thinking about and maybe even challenging tradition. I have to say that, offense or no offense, I remain perplexed by the desire to cling to the fiction ( Disney, as a couple of people put it). Yes, I grew up with the Cowboys and Indians stuff. But my boys have replaced those fantasies with the likes of Star Wars and I think it would be just as ri
  3. I am guessing the arrow is not a sacred symbol too ... but certainly the Medicine Man is. In fact, the Medicine man is considered to be a link between the earth and the spirit ... in many ways a religious figure. It is not so much that I am worried about one particular ceremony (though having been to several Pow Wows, I felt very uncomfortable seeing those boys in Native regalia),my question is are these ceremonies in general just a creative free for all or are there specific rules for how they are to be (or not be) carried out? Does anything go? Are there guidelines? I don't know why
  4. I attended my son's Arrow of Light ceremony and was surprised and somewhat disturbed to see that the ceremony included Boy Scouts dressed up and identified as Akela, Medicine Man etc. Complete with feathers and beating drums, the "Akela" pretended to inspect each arrow (made by machine I'm sure and decorated by parents via a kit) and declare it "worthy" or not. For an organization which requires respectful behavior from the scouts, I am confused and frankly a bit ashamed. I think if I were a Native American, I would be quite offended by this farce. Additionally, after years of our boys vi
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