Use/Abuse of Native culture in Arrow of Light Ceremony
Posted 13 January 2012 - 10:03 AM
Posted 04 March 2015 - 12:24 PM
Posted 04 March 2015 - 01:09 PM
Posted 05 March 2015 - 09:16 AM
Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:10 AM
...and how I suggested the Scouts look for the answers themselves (go to a powwow or other cultural event, being respectful, offering a small gift of tobacco to an elder to answer the question, and be willing for the elder to not answer the question if it involved religious or cultural significance).
Um... a person who has no Native American ancestry whatsoever is respectfully raising his hand with a couple of questions.
Are you also telling the Scouts that the actual obtaining/purchasing of the tobacco products, as well as carrying them and handing them to the elder, should be done by an adult who has accompanied the Scouts to the cultural event?
Is there some other acceptable gift item, one that would be appropriate for a Scout to obtain and possess?
Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:46 AM
Posted 05 March 2015 - 10:56 AM
Posted 05 March 2015 - 01:57 PM
Posted 05 March 2015 - 08:52 PM
Slowly shaking my head.... It's not like a kid is going to take a pack of Camels out of the smokes pocket on his uniform sleeve, shake up a couple of coffin nails and light up with the guy...
NJ, I absolutely get your point and understand the potential firestorm which could arise from kids presenting a gift of tobacco to an elder, but how sad is that. It would be like your inviting my family to Seder and me making a fuss of my children to sipping the wine.
TwoCub, it probably is not the first time I have caused people someone to slowly shake their head on the subject of tobacco and/or smoking in this forum, and it probably won't be the last. I realize I am somewhat of a "hard-liner" on the subject.
I am not suggesting there would be a "firestorm." (Where there's smoking there's a firestorm? I'm so funny.) And I don't know what the Scouts are going to do. I was basically just asking whether there are alternatives.
As for my family's Passover Seder, the children are provided with grape juice when it's time to drink the "wine." (I didn't come up with that, it was the custom in my family from before I was even around to drink the grape juice.) If an older teenager wanted a sip of actual wine, it wouldn't be a problem. But that's a controlled situation, in private, at home. And the person who bought the wine is of legal drinking age.
I really didn't mean to make a "big deal" out of this. It just sort of struck me as odd. But I also appreciate Eagle providing the information about this Native American custom, of which I was not aware previously.
Posted 06 March 2015 - 01:49 AM
I was taught the gift is a sign of respect and it's good manners to do. I was told pipe tobacco is the best gift as there are religious and purification uses for it. Sweetgrass is another item that is good to get, but harder to get. Alcohol is a no-no, but other drinks and food are OK.
You were taught this for which tribes?
Understand that there is no "Native American Culture", just lots of native tribes with different cultures. While some tribes value tobacco, in others tobacco has no traditional role. The traditions of a Salish tribe in the northwest maybe very different from the traditions of a Creek tribe from the east coast, or a Lakota tribe from the plains.
I remember in school being taught about "Native American" religion, and culture. It was presented as "Indians believed X, or did Y", not "this tribe believed X or did Y". They tended to lump all Native Americans into one generic stereotype "Indian" culture. That is something we have to be careful about not doing.
The "Hollywood Indian" stereotype is heavily based on the plains and east coast cultures (feather head dresses, teepees, tomahawks, etc.). One of the sad things about the destruction of native culture, is that for many Native Americans, the "Hollywood Indian" is mostly what they know of their "history". Plus some modern cultural "artifacts" are imposed from outside. For example, some tribes had no concept of a "blood" requirement to be a member. You were a member of the tribe if the tribe said you were (according to a Lakota friend of mine, the Lakota were like that. They got the concept of being a "blood member" from the white man - see the Dawes Act).
One of my best friends is a Lakota Sioux from South Dakota. He grew up on the Rosebud reservation. The Sioux are lucky, they have a large tribe that was conquered late in the game, and a lot of their culture is intact (religious, linguistic, social, etc.). Many of the other tribes in the country weren't as lucky. Here in California, a lot of the tribes have lost their language, their religion, and most of their culture. Some of the tribes where completely wiped out and all we have left of them are some names. So there is a lot of cultural borrowing going on between tribes as they try to "fill in some of the blanks".
Posted 06 March 2015 - 09:12 AM
Posted 27 January 2017 - 02:50 PM
OA may think it okay NOT to wear war paint, but wearing a war bonnet is just fine. Won't be long before some activist will do a number on OA and that, too will become a thing of the past.
Posted 28 January 2017 - 12:34 AM
Do you know if the article is recent? It doesn't have a date, and he material referenced is 6 years old.
July, 2014. Recent? No.
Posted 28 January 2017 - 09:17 AM
July, 2014. Recent? No.
I would consider that recent enough. The follow-up would be interesting. Four years later ...
Is the writer's boy still in scouts?
Has he considered joining O/A or is the sense of appropriation too offensive to him?
Have they talked with their tribal elders about how they should react to this?
Did the lodge make any adjustments?
Are things better, worse, the same?
Side note: last meeting the troop had a visit by a local amateur historian who ended with the story of the chief who is our township's namesake ... a very interesting piece of local history that would otherwise be forgotten.
Posted 28 January 2017 - 09:38 AM
The local tribes in our area seem to be more concerned about the operation of their many casinos than they do about their heritage. Things have changed a lot in the past 50 years.
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