Re: BSA and Native Americans
Kevin Torres (kt6@PRISM.GATECH.EDU)
Thu, 14 May 1992 04:52:06 LCL
In reply to:
>  Does Scouting run the risk of "trivializing" Native American
> culture by not spending enough time in trying to understand it?
> Is there a danger of romanticizing a history (oftentimes
>tragic) and ignoring the very harsh realities of Native Americans'
I think that you bring up a good point. It has been my
experience that within the OA you have two distinct groups. Simply
said, one group does not have an interest in Native Americans and the
other does. It is the group that does have the interest that we must
focus on. I believe it is safe to say that most lodges don't spend
enough time studying the history and culture of Native Americans. I
don't think this is necesarily bad. There is a foundation in place that
can either flourish or just die out. Never the less there is a small
part of Native American history and thinking that is preserved and
that's better than nothing.
> Does Scouting, especially in those activities involving Native
> American dress and dance, risk "sacrilege", or giving offense,
> by mimicking activities that might have significant religious
> or cultural meaning?
I beleive that as long as people only imitate or reenact
regallia or dance it is ok. Not all dances are religious. Some are
friendship and just to have a good time, and certainly I wouldn't think
that dancing to have a good time would give anyone offense. (at least I
hope not) Just don't dance a religious dance if you don't know the
meaning or believe.
These are only my opinions and I hope I don't offend anyone.
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City