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45 minutes ago, Eagle94-A1 said:

@fred8033 I guess it all relates to relationships to local nations.

Trouble is scouts and their parents have preconceived notions of how US wronged native americans.  They will cringe.  I know I did and I still do if I have to explain any of the ceremonies to people not already involved in OA.  You have to be an OA insider to know it's okay.  Needing to be an insider to know it's okay begs the question whether it's okay.  

I'm okay with your position that "local nations" have helped and approved.  I'd ask though if they still approve this year.  It is something that you will have to re-ask yearly.  Times change and they change quickly these days.  Washington Redskins is still a football team and people were once okay with the name.  Now, it is regularly protested.  Before that it was the Fighting Sioux that was forced to rename themselves.  I suspect both had at least tacit native american support at some time.  

It's really not a big issue to me and I'll never be an OA insider.  But if someone asked me ... I would say OA needs to drop the indian lore myth.  Use it as teaching lessons.  But the ceremonies need to change.  

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5 minutes ago, fred8033 said:

Trouble is scouts and their parents have preconceived notions of how US wronged native americans.  They will cringe.  I know I did and I still do if I have to explain any of the ceremonies to people not already involved in OA.  You have to be an OA insider to know it's okay.  Needing to be an insider to know it's okay begs the question whether it's okay.  

I'm okay with your position that "local nations" have helped and approved.  I'd ask though if they still approve this year.  It is something that you will have to re-ask yearly.  Times change and they change quickly these days.  Washington Redskins is still a football team and people were once okay with the name.  Now, it is regularly protested.  Before that it was the Fighting Sioux that was forced to rename themselves.  I suspect both had at least tacit native american support at some time.  

It's really not a big issue to me and I'll never be an OA insider.  But if someone asked me ... I would say OA needs to drop the indian lore myth.  Use it as teaching lessons.  But the ceremonies need to change.  

So what do you suggest? 

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1 hour ago, fred8033 said:

Trouble is scouts and their parents have preconceived notions of how US wronged native americans.  They will cringe.  I know I did and I still do if I have to explain any of the ceremonies to people not already involved in OA.  You have to be an OA insider to know it's okay.  Needing to be an insider to know it's okay begs the question whether it's okay.  

I'm okay with your position that "local nations" have helped and approved.  I'd ask though if they still approve this year.  It is something that you will have to re-ask yearly.  Times change and they change quickly these days.  Washington Redskins is still a football team and people were once okay with the name.  Now, it is regularly protested.  Before that it was the Fighting Sioux that was forced to rename themselves.  I suspect both had at least tacit native american support at some time.  

It's really not a big issue to me and I'll never be an OA insider.  But if someone asked me ... I would say OA needs to drop the indian lore myth.  Use it as teaching lessons.  But the ceremonies need to change.  

With all due respect to your concerns, @fred8033 there is no greater insult to a culture than listening to the voices that dare you to never honor them.

The quotes you put around local nations implies that somehow the lodge really wasn't in touch with tribal leaders. Or that tribal chiefs waffle in their beliefs. Or that when a tribe confers membership to erstwhile arrowmen, they do so lightly. This wrongly resurrects the "Indian giver" stereotype. When a tribes endorses support, they don't do so lightly. And, when they withdraw support, it is rarely based on populist whims, but rather a specific violation of trust.

Should lodges interact with NA leaders? Yes. What proof do you have that they don't?

Football team names are a red herring. There is a difference between making money off someone's history and legends, and inspiring greatness through honoring someone's history and legend.

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Having NA ancestry, I can understand the sensitivity (and I am thankful for it really) on the history of treatment towards Native Americans. Bringing awareness of it should be a part of any presentation of anything NA.   I very much appreciate @qwazse stating "There is a difference between making money off someone's history and legends, and inspiring greatness through honoring someone's history and legend." and I am very enthusiastic towards anyone, OA or not, to take the time to seek out local NA groups and learn about their culture and history.  For many NA groups today, they are challenged to educate their youth to keep traditions and language alive, and most are very welcoming to non-NA individuals to share their knowledge with them. 

However, let's keep in mind one very important thing- the OA is representing the story of Lenni-Lenape traditions.  Yes, it is subjective on who gave the telling of those traditions, and how they were interpreted into what became the ceremonies that the OA uses- however, the only formal establishment that is continually needed as to whether the OA, in whatever part of the world it exists today, should continue to use the Lenni-Lenape traditions is up to the Lenni-Lenape.  If you are a lodge in say Kansas, your interpretation of the ceremony should still be through the lens of the Lenni-Lenape, not the NA group in your area.  Even the regalia used should be based on Lenni-Lenape.  I appreciate the sensitivity towards other NA groups, and it would seem very un-scoutlike if we weren't considerate of their feelings.  I wish I knew how much effort and discussion was going on between the OA and the modern Lenni-Lenape descendant groups, and how they truly feel (or how much they could help us to be more true and honorable to this story).  Personally, I think it should be required after the Ordeal ceremony for every new member to hear the legend told in a sit-down, here's what it means way, sans regalia and the dramatic element just such that the context of it, that it is an interpretation of one specific NA group, is soundly understood.  The whirlwind that is the Ordeal weekend today, from my experiences, doesn't truly do that, and most of the younger scouts remember little of the ceremony other than "there were some Indians" (which, yes, I cringe about and will do my best to get them to listen to the legend of it, but I probably get 1 out 5 to actually be willing to take the time to listen, which is why I feel it needs to be mandatory).

Sorry, I realize this is a great deviation away from the topic of this thread, but I feel it is so important that we have discussion on keeping the OA relevant, while also keeping its traditions relevant as well (that is in the obligation, after all)- and if anyone from the Exec Board actually reads these threads, I am happy to be part of whatever group is assembled to engage the Lenape to sit with them and discuss how we can continue to honor them in a way that does not offend (even if that means stopping the OA ceremonies).

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7 hours ago, qwazse said:

With all due respect to your concerns, @fred8033 there is no greater insult to a culture than listening to the voices that dare you to never honor them.

The quotes you put around local nations implies that somehow the lodge really wasn't in touch with tribal leaders. Or that tribal chiefs waffle in their beliefs. Or that when a tribe confers membership to erstwhile arrowmen, they do so lightly. This wrongly resurrects the "Indian giver" stereotype. When a tribes endorses support, they don't do so lightly. And, when they withdraw support, it is rarely based on populist whims, but rather a specific violation of trust.

Should lodges interact with NA leaders? Yes. What proof do you have that they don't?

Football team names are a red herring. There is a difference between making money off someone's history and legends, and inspiring greatness through honoring someone's history and legend.

Qwazse ... and HashTagScouts ... I value and recognize your points.  There is a long tradition in OA using indian lore for ceremonies and to communicate OA lessons and values.  I can see it being really cool to younger people and very meaningful.  It's just that society has changed and we are very sensitive to the past errors and abuses.  

I quoted "local nations" as it's really a hard thing to define local in a 50 state organization.  Plus, tribes are made up of many many individuals.  I could see some agreeing and some having major issues with it.  I could also see this changing easily with time as society is changing quickly these days.  

Being an outsider, I saw the indian ceremonies at call outs for many years before being called out.  During that time, I had no knowledge Lenni-Lenape.  There was a brief script.  Every time we'd see the regalia and comment on head dresses, shorts, how well the script was done, etc.  

It's not a fight I want to take up.  I raised the point as I liked the original video that started this thread as it solved a cringe I experience at every call out ceremony.  

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21 hours ago, fred8033 said:

Qwazse ... and HashTagScouts ... I value and recognize your points.  There is a long tradition in OA using indian lore for ceremonies and to communicate OA lessons and values.  I can see it being really cool to younger people and very meaningful.  It's just that society has changed and we are very sensitive to the past errors and abuses.  

I quoted "local nations" as it's really a hard thing to define local in a 50 state organization.  Plus, tribes are made up of many many individuals.  I could see some agreeing and some having major issues with it.  I could also see this changing easily with time as society is changing quickly these days.  

Being an outsider, I saw the indian ceremonies at call outs for many years before being called out.  During that time, I had no knowledge Lenni-Lenape.  There was a brief script.  Every time we'd see the regalia and comment on head dresses, shorts, how well the script was done, etc.  

It's not a fight I want to take up.  I raised the point as I liked the original video that started this thread as it solved a cringe I experience at every call out ceremony.  

I appreciate your opinions.  For me, as long as we are absolutely committed and preaching respect, I have no issues with the ceremonies.  I take more objection of using names like "redskins", which is a total racial slur, or "fighting Sioux" (both the implication that NA are merely savage warriors, and that the term Sioux was appropriated from another NA group and used to refer to the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota peoples as snakes).  I've been fortunate to make connections to a number of NA peoples in my lifetime, many are like me that they have exceptionally mixed ancestry, but also quite a few that are fully Native American/Native Alaskan.  Generally I have found that few take offense to using true NA terms to name campsites or camps.  And for those who I have explained what the OA is and what it borrows from Lenni-Lenape lore, I've never really heard anything negative about it.  Many still see the BSA as wholesome and striving to do good in the world (the "what are you, some kind of Boy Scout?" type of thing), so that helps so long as we continue to stay true to that. 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, HashTagScouts said:

I appreciate your opinions.  For me, as long as we are absolutely committed and preaching respect, I have no issues with the ceremonies.  I take more objection of using names like "redskins", which is a total racial slur, or "fighting Sioux" (both the implication that NA are merely savage warriors, and that the term Sioux was appropriated from another NA group and used to refer to the Dakota/Lakota/Nakota peoples as snakes).  I've been fortunate to make connections to a number of NA peoples in my lifetime, many are like me that they have exceptionally mixed ancestry, but also quite a few that are fully Native American/Native Alaskan.  Generally I have found that few take offense to using true NA terms to name campsites or camps.  And for those who I have explained what the OA is and what it borrows from Lenni-Lenape lore, I've never really heard anything negative about it.  Many still see the BSA as wholesome and striving to do good in the world (the "what are you, some kind of Boy Scout?" type of thing), so that helps so long as we continue to stay true to that. 

I understand.  

I will share one sadness that I do have.  Even though I do cringe at times and I believe OA (and other groups) will continue to move away from using native american lore (IMHO it's inevitable), I believe something will be lost.  I think camps named after tribes (like antiquated art and other lore) can be offensive, but I hate seeing change as it cleanses the past.  I'd rather have the lore and art as it can be a tool to teach us about the past. (good or bad)

Edited by fred8033

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Erasing our past only makes it easier for us to forget it. The Order of the Arrow has stood for service and brotherhood for over a hundred years, and by eliminating all the defining elements of its composition and character, we are also losing many of the morals and symbolism which the OA used to teach young men how to improve themselves and their communities. Many of these were powerfulful words and symbols and garments of Native American cultures. Adaptation and progress are inevitable; we can't fool ourselves into thinking that the Order of the Past is what the boys of today need. But we can still use that history, we can still teach from those same symbols and ceremonies and legends and costumes, finding new ways to honor their antiquity while respecting their people, to give boys that greater sense of purpose and selflessness which will strengthen them as citizens, husbands and fathers in the future. We have a duty to the rising generation of Scouts to offer them ALL the Order of the Arrow had, has, and will have to offer. Completely ignoring or eliminating the past will only wipe out possibilities for the future. So we do what we can now, where we are, to preserve those ideals and promises. 

Quote

The past is behind us - learn from it. The future is ahead - prepare for it. The present is here - live it."

- Thomas S. Monson, Silver Buffalo and Bronze Wolf recipient 

 

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