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While in Boy Scouts of America I was invited into the Order of the Arrow, an honor association you can only be granted access to by being voted in by your peers. After you attain enough votes you are declared a candidate, where you then proceed to an ordination ceremony. At this ordination ceremony four main characters are present. Kichkinet (the guide), Meteu, Nutiket, and Allowat Sakima. Some lodge's scripts may vary. Throughout this whole ceremony the scouts in the roles try their best to channel these mythical characters. References to the winds and other traditions are embraced in these ceremonies. During the Brotherhood ordination, a ceremony that can be taken 10 months after becoming a Arrowman (an initiated OA member), Arrowmen must symbolically share blood my cutting their hand, with a dull blade, and shedding it into a fire. I just realized while digging through my old trunk and finding my script that all of this must have seemed very strange for many as it involves traditions involving Native American spirituality. This org is still present in BSA, thought it would be interesting to bring to y'all attention. 

 

 

 

 

Picture credit: Shenshawpotoo Lodge #276 Order of the Arrow

oa picture 2.jpg

Edited by Bones
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  • 2 months later...

Thank you for this. Never heard of it, though I was never in BSA long enough for it to be meaningful at the time. Wondering if the select group was initiated by Native American members, or appropriated as an attempt to set apart yet another group within the organization?

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  • 1 year later...

It seems this practice had value to you, MyanarWultan, so it was useful.

 

In my recent year long learning session with some people from the Navajo tribe,

I have a passing observation.

 

The Boy Scouts have been around in the United States for roughly a hundred years.

The inception of programs to make any of us appreciate nature and or the first peoples

inhabiting this land were at one time both, innovative and culturally a gateway moment

of understanding.

 

Perhaps, with the Native population being largely generous and patient with non-Natives who 

truly want to learn and appreciate their culture, perhaps, Native input into these practices

would be a betterment of the original program.

 

 I suspect strongly the original national program and script had to be approved by the

organizational leadership in  Irving, Texas at some point.  When the Order of the Arrow was

a pilot program, there was scant Native Americans in leadership roles in the organization.

 

Perhaps, your good experience can be bettered by updating the program, and validating the

Native overtones ....by actually including and acknowledging Native Leadership into

the improvements.

 

Von

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