July 26, 2008

Scout society stereotypes Indians

I knew the Boy Scouts had one honor society based on stereotypical Indian elements, but now I've learned that they have another.

Tribe of Mic-O-SayThe Tribe of Mic-O-Say is an honor society used by two local councils of the Boy Scouts of America; it is not a program of the National Council of the BSA. Mic-O-Say's ceremonies, customs, and traditions are based on the folklore of the American Indian.

The Pony Express Council uses the Tribe of Mic-O-Say as its only honor society, while the Heart of America Council uses both the Tribe of Mic-O-Say and the Order of the Arrow.

History

Mic-O-Say was founded in 1925 at Camp Brinton near Agency, Missouri under the guidance of H. Roe Bartle, who was the Scout executive of the St. Joseph Council, now Pony Express Council.

Camp Geiger, which succeeded Camp Brinton in 1935, is considered the 'mother' tribe of Mic-O-Say.

In 1930 Camp Osceola opened near Osceola, Missouri, and remains open to this day, renamed the H. Roe Bartle Scout Reservation, or commonly known as "Bartle."

Legacy

The Kansas City Chiefs are named after the nickname "The Chief" of H. Roe Bartle, who had that nickname because of his position in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say.
Boy Scouting teaches youth invaluable lifelong skillsI have had the pleasure of being on the Geiger staff for 13 years now, preparing meals and salad bar.

I’ve seen young boys grow into young men and adults, displaying discipline, good manners and qualities not seen in other areas. I also am a teacher.

We are so fortunate to have the Mic-o-Say honor tribe also.

Each Thursday night Scouts are “tapped” into the tribe and after meeting the qualifications, are advanced from brave, to warrior, on to tom-tom beater, runners, keeper of the sacred bundle, to sachem, medicine man and chieftain.
Comment:  You gotta love the stupid mishmash of stereotypes in the so-called Tribe of Mic-O-Say.

Most people reach the brave or warrior level. Apparently this "tribe" doesn't have any non-warriors because, well, Indians are warriors. But a warrior can become a tom-tom beater because, well, Indians beat tom-toms. A tom-tom beater can become a keeper of the sacred bundle or a medicine man because, well, Indian religion is the same as Western religion. You call yourself a Christian or a medicine man and...voilá, you are one. The tom-tom beater can also become a sachem (a New England tribal leader) or a chieftain (a Midwest tribal leader) because, well, anyone can put on a headdress. Besides, one tribal leader is like another; the guy with the showiest costume is in charge.

As Wikipedia helpfully notes, "The following responsibilities are not part of the Geiger tribe: Shaman, Keeper of the Wampum, and Sagamore." "Shaman" is primarily a West Coast concept while "Keeper of the Wampum" and "Sagamore" (along with "Sachem") are East Coast concepts. But who really cares if the Boy Scouts mix and match concepts from all over Indian country? All Indian tribes are the same, right?

Proving that the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is all about perpetuating stereotypes, here's the latest news:

History of the Tribe of Mic-O-SayOn July 21, 2006 at the last Friday evening ceremonials of the season, Chief Swimming Rock announced that he was “hanging up his war bonnet,” and would retire his position as Ceremonial Chief. Thom then named the Directing Medicine Man, Ken Baker, as the new Ceremonial Chief. In 2007, we move forward with new Directing Medicine Man Walks Tall, Ed Stroud and a strong young administration of new Tribal Leadership.So the big Ceremonial Chief is supposed to be a Plains chief. He adopts a funny Indian name, which mocks the traditional practice of choosing Indian names. And he wears a faux warbonnet, which mocks the revered nature of the feathered headdress.

If the so-called Tribe of Mic-O-Say is less stereotypical than a typical Y-Indian Guide troop, it isn't obvious. How many kids have learned about Indians through these phony programs and how many have learned about them through accurate books or movies or face-to-face meetings?

Below:  New chief and medicine man wannabes and a Mic-O-Say badge with a stereotypical Plains warrior. Note that the mock medicine man wears a warbonnet along with face paint, neither of which a medicine man normally dons.

38 comments:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
When writerfella was growing up, Natives in Oklahoma were not allowed membership in the Cub Scouts or the Boy Scouts, which were all-Caucasian. Upon entry into the USAF in 1964, a background questionnaire actually asked if the recruit was or had been a member of the Boy Scouts of America or, if not, why not. writerfella's response, more or less approximately: No. The Boy Scouts were segregated and discriminatory. But we Indians formed our own group, The Boy Troopers. We wore 7th Cavalry uniforms, danced the White Man's dances, and learned to read street signs so we could find our way around his cities.
An OSI lieutenant gave writerfella a severe talking to later, but then the man did say it was funny...
All Best
Russ Bates
'writerfella'

Anonymous said...

I must sya while being a warrior in the tribe and being only fifteen that I find your approximation of the Mic-o-Say Tribe to be a mockery of Native Americans to be just plain incorrect. I have learned how we have mistreated the tribes in the past, but I also learned how we are only trying to make up for it. We do not in any way shape or form claim to be the original tribe,nor do we claim that our customs match with the original's completly. We only try to help build strength in the lives of young aspiring boys to become active and helpful members of society. Thus, this fifteen year-old has just told you off. (P. S. I am not a conservative radical, I'm a liberal looking for some understanding)

Rob said...

Wikipedia says that "Mic-O-Say's ceremonies, customs, and traditions are based on the folklore of the American Indian." Is this statement true or false, youngster?

I say that Mic-O-Say's ceremonies, customs, and traditions are a "stupid mishmash of stereotypes." I explained why. For instance, I mocked the idea of warriors becoming "tom-tom beaters" because beating tom-toms is a stereotype, not a genuine custom or tradition among most tribes.

Do you disagree with this analysis? Then explain why. Tell us exactly where you think my position is "incorrect." Otherwise your opinion isn't worth much to me or anyone.

Anonymous said...

True, wikipedia does say that. And the Tribe of Micosay does base many of its ceremonial operations off of the folklore of the Native American. However, I have come into contact with many different older men who have belonged to real Native tribes and have Native blood in them. Their reaction, when they got "tapped", was not one of mere disgust and believing that we were mocking the Native Americans' way of life, but completely the opposite. One man said "I was blown away when the ceremony started". And some people have actually become more involved in their actual Native Tribes just because of the experience of being tapped. Overall, the Tribe of Micosay does not seek to mock or put-down any true Native tribes, but to give young men an experience that many young men today have never had. The Tribe of Micosay, also, as you mentioned, has "a stupid mishmash of stereotypes", such as the Paint Stations. There are many reasons for these. One is that it gives the tribe an appeal unlike Order of the Arrow. In OA, there are only three stations of advancement. Another reason is to teach young men responsibility and discipline. With each new paint comes new responsibility, and it is the duty of every tribesman to fulfill the requirements of his paint station. I agree when you say that "beating tom-toms is a stereotype, not a genuine custom or tradition among most tribes". I am not very learned in this area, but I can believe when you say this is a stereotype. Again, the reason for the "tom-tom beater" paint station is to place upon a young individual new responsibilities in the tribe. These responsibilities then help the young man to grow in kinship with his friends and to learn discipline. I know of many a night I spent with other guys working until 2:00 a.m. trying to get our assigned fire done (rank of Firebuilder), and we had to get up at 5:30! Those are times I won't quickly forget.
As you advance through the ranks, you get a chance to do everything in the tribe. As Braves and Warriors, you dance during ceremonies. As Firebuilders (kind of obvious), you make and provide wood for all ceremonial fires. As a tom-tom beater, you sound the call of the drum during ceremonies and public appearances. As a Runner of the Tribe, you take care of the new incoming Foxmen (young men who have just got tapped). And as a Keeper of the Sacred Bundle, your duties are to keep the Sacred Traditions and Customs of the tribe. And of course as Sachem/Medicine Man (I group the two together because they comprise the Tribal Council, whose complete duties I do not know, but I do know that they discuss incoming members, tribal funding, youth advancement, and other important tribal-direction issues.) Finally there are the Chiefs/Chieftains, who serve on the Council of Chieftains; they control advancement for anybody Keeper of the Sacred Bundle and up and also have other responsibilities that I do not know at this time.
I hope I have been able to clear some confusion. The Tribe of Micosay cannot be fully grasped and experienced from the outside, it's something that you have to actually be a part of to sense the true magic. Like I said, the main goal is to help young boys become young men.
Did I mention that one of the requirements for Runner was to earn the Eagle Scout award, and that the requirements for almost every paint station up until Runner require an advancement in Scout rank?
This, yet again, is another reason for Micosay. Micosay importantly stresses involvement in Scouting and aims to keep young men "interested" in Scouting long enough to get their Eagle Scout. I can truthfully say that as a 16 year old, I would probably not be active in my Scout Troop anymore if it wasn't for Micosay. Being tapped changed my life. You cannot separate Micosay and Boy Scouting. You can't have one without the other. Thank you for reading this post.

--TomTom Beater Swift Song

KSBLSS said...

I just want to add to this column that the purpose of most of these faux or imitation Native American organizations is not to deface a culture of a people, but to use those values that have been lost in translation into today's society. Some of the things such as religion, Family Life, being a good person to your community or in ceremonies, accrediting your accusations, they mention is as "the tribe". These things are put into this venue so that they pick up these values while not realizing they are changing. It is the same as a spoonful of sugar with your medicine. Most people that are part of this organization who are seasoned enough and mature enough to debate the subject will say that this program is, while nearly always respectful in nature, one of the reasons they are who they are today. It takes young men who need direction and gets them through scouting and through their eagle. It keeps young men active in community service well into their late 20s and early 30s. Most areas are lucky if they can even get scouts to get their eagle let alone give back over 10 years of service after their completion. This is something that may leave a bitter taste in some people’s mouths but is something that we do with the utmost respect and praise to the people from which we have taken. If there is any doubt in your mind of the good intentions of our organization I encourage you to visit our camp and see for yourself the true effect it has had on the youth, and on the community surrounding it. You can see some of the ceremonies that surround our traditions. Seeing that you have some pictures from the website posted I assume you know the web address, if not it is www.micosay.org. By this post I do not mean to begin an argument, but to justify the means of our organization. I am a strong member of the Tribe of Mic-o-Say at camp Geiger in St. Joseph. I have been dedicated to its values and seen its effects on so many of my friends and on myself. I promise you that there is nothing but respect and flattery hidden behind the speeches of the people you see as leaders based in mockeries. I promise you it is much more than that.


Keeper of the Sacred Bundle Little Sky Signal

Rob said...

Alas, your phony Indian names only reinforce my point, "Swift Song" and "Little Sky Signal."

I'm all for young men learning responsibility and discipline, but there's no need for the faux Indian ceremonies, customs, and traditions. The organization would work just as well with non-Indian versions.

Keeper of Sacred Bundle Little Sky Signal said...

It is easy to point out problems in a system, but to come up with relative and successful solutions is a different matter. This program has been running in Missouri for over 70 years, and in some other parts of the country, the parent organizations have been running for almost a century. If can find a more successful program then please inform me of one. This program by all statistics compiled by the Boy Scouts of America organization, has produced one of the top 5 eagle scout per capita areas. The other top 5 are also stimulated by native american based honor organizations. If you can find them then please send me a link but this is a program that is successful and valuable to many.

Anonymous said...

I stand with both of my fellow tribesmen here when I say that you do not fully grasp the idea of the tribe of micosay. Just because we have a few flaws we are still learning aloe from doing it and it is a unique way of doing it. I have spoken!

TTBLSM

Anonymous said...

I am am member of both tribes at Bartle and Giger and I enjoy it i have been in for 11 years now and it is fun. It is respectfull for native traditions and no was are the same we are just a group of scouts and scouters having fun and learning at the same time.

KSBLSM

Rob said...

Re "to come up with relative and successful solutions is a different matter": You can do what the Y-Indian Guides have done. Namely, eliminate the faux Indian ceremonies, customs, and traditions in your "tribe."

drake X Andrews said...

MIC-O-SAY

FRIENSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

A man thought it was important to show young men the value of leadership in doing so...he seen the value of friendship. Mic-O-Say.

The pathway in becoming a good citizen and a productive member of society is… but to make fun of individuals who work with youth in a program that works. For this person to post the pictures and make fun of them is horrible.

This program produces in the highest returning Eagle Scouts to the Camps scouting world of Kansas City and St. Joseph program!

Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The academic and usually ethnographic study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics. The word 'folklore' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published by the London Journal Athenaeum in 1846.[1]

HMM…Wikipedia says that "Mic-O-Say's ceremonies, customs, and traditions are based on the folklore of the American Indian." Is this statement true or false, youngster?

Yes… Mic-O-Say's ceremonies, customs, and traditions are based on the folklore of the American Indian

Folklore is the body of expressive culture, including tales, music, dance, legends, oral history, proverbs, jokes, popular beliefs, customs, and so forth within a particular population comprising the traditions (including oral traditions) of that culture, subculture, or group. It is also the set of practices through which those expressive genres are shared. The academic and usually ethnographic study of folklore is sometimes called folkloristics. The word 'folklore' was first used by the English antiquarian William Thoms in a letter published by the London Journal Athenaeum in 1846.[1]

I respect this program to the fullest. Are you a member? Hmm…lets see…Gambling, Casinos…

The Native American name controversy is an ongoing dispute over the acceptable ways to refer to the indigenous peoples of the Americas and to the broad subsets thereof, such as those living in a specific country or sharing certain cultural attributes. Once-common terms like "Indian" remain in use, despite the introduction of terms such as "Native American" during the latter half of the 20th century.

But… MIC-O-SAY

FRIENSHIP AND LEADERSHIP

A man thought it was important to show young men the value of leadership in doing so...he seen the value of friendship. Mic-O-Say.


[Do you disagree with this analysis? Then explain why. Tell us exactly where you think my position is "incorrect." Otherwise your opinion isn't worth much to me or anyone.]

No…Now, Your sophomoric attempt to undermine youth by making fun of them in a good program is sad by someone who is highly educated or did you get those degrees from the Internet or mail order. Hmm…accreditation?

This program is not public and copyrighted. So, be careful on what you post in pictures and what you make fun of in the colorful words you use!

And this Opinion is worth much. Because I am proud to be a member of this Program called “The Tribe of Mic-O-Say”

you want to call my name a stupid mishmash of sterotypes HMM....Schmidt,

drake X Andrews said...

http://www.stjoenews.net/news/2008/jul/26/your-letters-july-26-2008/?opinio
n

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Boy Scouting teaches youth invaluable lifelong skills

I am writing this letter to inform the public that Boy Scouting is
certainly not dead.

This remark has become common in some circles. It has been referred to as a
“wimpy” or “sissy” thing to do. That could not be more wrong.

This season at Camp Geiger we had between 400 and 500 boys and leaders each
week, for six weeks.

We had large groups from Texas, Jefferson City, Omaha and St. Louis, as
well as local and area troops. We also had a troop from England.

The skills the Boy Scouts learn are skills they will use the rest of their
lives, such as first aid and survival skills and quality leadership, to
mention a few.

At Camp Geiger, there is a program called C.O.P.E., which stands for
“challenging outdoor physical experience.” Some of the skills are similar
to a boot camp experience. There are groups that come from all around to go
through the course that are not even Scout affiliated. They learn team
building, zip line, the climbing tower, etc., to mention only a few. This
is far from being “sissy.”

I have had the pleasure of being on the Geiger staff for 13 years now,
preparing meals and salad bar.

I’ve seen young boys grow into young men and adults, displaying discipline,
good manners and qualities not seen in other areas. I also am a teacher.

the first part of the article!!!!!

drake X Andrews said...

believe that mental categorizing is necessary and inescapable. One perspective on how to understand stereotyping process is through the categories or ingroups and outgroups. Ingroups are viewed as normal and superior, and are generally the group that one associates with or aspires to join. An outgroup is simply all the other groups. They are seen as lesser or inferior than the ingroups.

hmmmm.

drake X Andrews said...

Honour or Honor (see spelling differences), (from the Latin word honos, honoris) is the evaluation of a person's trustworthiness and social status based on that individual's espousals and actions. Honour is deemed exactly what determines a person's character: whether or not the person reflects honesty, respect, integrity, or fairness. Accordingly, individuals are assigned worth and stature based on the harmony of their actions, code of honour, and that of the society at large. Honour can be analysed as a relativistic concept, i.e., conflicts between individuals and even cultures arising as a consequence of material circumstance and ambition, rather than fundamental differences in principle. Alternatively, it can be viewed as nativist — that honour is as real to the human condition as love, and likewise derives from the formative personal bonds that establish one's personal dignity and charac

drake X Andrews said...

I’ve seen young boys grow into young men and adults, displaying discipline,
good manners and qualities not seen in other areas!!!!!

Is that next having youth is this Stereotype oh no....
what in the heck is the traditional practice of choosing Indian names...,

drake X Andrews said...

Tribe, group of people sharing customs, language, and territory

scouting

friendship & leadeship

english

camp geiger

no.... can't

Hitler took the swastika

The swastika shape was used by some Native Americans. It has been found in excavations of Mississippian-era sites in the Ohio valley. It was widely used by many southwestern tribes, most notably the Navajo. Among various tribes, the swastika carried different meanings. To the Hopi it represented the wandering Hopi clan; to the Navajo it was one symbol for a whirling winds (tsil no'oli'), a sacred image representing a legend that was used in healing rituals (after learning of the Nazi association, the Navajo discontinued use of the symbol).[36] A brightly colored First Nations saddle featuring swastika designs is on display at the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Canada.[37]

wait i am being sterotypical shoot....what are is american gonna do.

that's right....i am upset... you have attacked an program..made fun of two people...attacked our program... why don;t you see the program.

what is next McDonalds...wait they can and will sue you....if you make fun of clown...aren't they being....


scout

1. a soldier, warship, airplane, etc., employed in reconnoitering.
2. a person sent out to obtain information.
3. Sports.
a. a person who observes and reports on the techniques, players, etc., of opposing teams.
b. a person sent out by a team to observe and recommend new talent for recruitment.
4. a talent scout, as in the entertainment field.
5. an act or instance of reconnoitering, inspecting, observing, etc.
6. (sometimes cap.) a Boy Scout or Girl Scout.
7. Informal.a person: He's a good scout.
8. a man acting as servant to a student at Oxford University.

drake X Andrews said...

even your comic is sterotypes indians

Anonymous said...

It is unfortunate that someone "Rob" can have such an opinion without first witnessing the program for himself, or second create and provide a better solution.

Anyone can "throw rocks", anyone can be negative and drag people down.

Mic-o-say does NOT mock Native Americans. Its traditions help build character in young men. There are few programs that can claim success beyond what Mic-o-say can claim.

I am glad that we have few such people. I only stumbled onto this site, and found his comments very narrow minded.

Brother Tribesmen, you have been very patient, and considerate of this person. You have renewed my belief in the goals that were set so many years ago.

I now live in Michigan, but the lessons taught many years ago will always be my guide. I will be returning to Bartle once again this Summer with my son.

Keeping the faith with you,


Tod Landis
TTB - Exploding Fire Rock

Anonymous said...

I agree with much what both the blogger and the responders--on each side of this argument have said. It is imperative that we caucasain americans respect the culture of native americans. However, the post begs the question, why does a white guy from California care about a group that he seems to know little about?

Also, I don't believe that it has been said that the Micosay program was developed in conjunction with a Native American chief that was good friends with Micosay's founder (Bartle). The program has changed over the years, yes. But, the core still remains. As is always true, some will inevitably agree with a program, and some will disagree.

Rob said...

Nice try, but all I see here is a lot of irrelevant verbiage. Your comments basically didn't address my claim that the Tribe of Mic-O-Say stereotypes Indians.

For my full response, see Educating Scouts About Stereotypes.

Rob said...

As for "why does a white guy from California care about a group that he seems to know little about?": Why shouldn't I care about Native stereotyping? As far as I'm concerned, stereotypes that hurt one group hurt everyone.

And I don't have to know much about the Tribe of Mic-O-Say to know that it stereotypes Indians. With all your verbiage, that's the key point you haven't been able to address.

Anonymous said...

this has just got way out of hand. Even worse with your follow up article that you attached. What do you care what we do. Do u get paid to write these if so your boss is going crazy. If you have a problem with something get the correct damn information first because guess what our tribe is not going anywhere!! Ha what now??? Get a life and thanks for your worthless time!!!

Anonymous said...

by the way wikipedia can be edited therefore you may have put that there but any tribesmen that reads this or that know that information you got was very incorrect. We are not here to mock or copy anyone or to be racist. Please use a credible source next time!! Heck call us we would love to tell you the CORRECT information. Thanks for your time!!! I hope you have a great day and life and more credible sources!!!

Anonymous said...

I have an older sibling who was in micosay, and i have attended a few dances. it DOES mock native americans.

Anonymous said...

Amazingly enough... we have true blood Native Americans in the tribe! Wow... what's there take on the situation? Maybe you should ask them? Also, we use faux costuming materials to protect wildlife, HOWEVER if you have true liniage you have the right to use traditional costuming materials.

Anonymous said...

I agree with many points throughout this tread. Grown white men wearing Indian attire and attempting to dumb down their vocabulary and speak stereotypically like a Native American from the movies is interesting in itself. Especially since the White Man took this country from the Native Americans by force. It's like spitting on their graves if they had them.

I also agree that the entire "show" would not be necessary to teach the principals of "behavior" and "character" these organizations want these participants to learn.

I also agree that a white guy has no place speaking on behalf of any recognized Native American Tribe, regardless of how well read he is or what his resource is. Let the Native American Tribes speak to the subject. They would obviously be the ones offended, they don't need a white guy defending them, not now and not in the past.

These organizations produce countless good people year after year after year, generation after generation by capturing the imaginations of young people who might otherwise spend their time finding trouble in their own communities. Some, not all of the participants need a "path" and "direction" as they do not get it from their loser parents IF the are around at all. These organizations contribute far more to the society that we live in today than they take from it by prentending to be a Native American.

So, if at the cost of a stereotype, these organizations are producing more positive, contributing members of society, so be it.

Stereotypes are a human condition and will always exist. Doing our best to avoid them is a good practice indeed, but we will never rid the human race of stereotypes. People of the same race, color and bloodlines stereotype each other based on words written and rewritten over thousands of years on paper, by countless human hands and continue to wage war on each other because of it. It is again a human condition.

These youth organizations are exercising a positive, attractive approach to influencing/teaching young people to behave with character, respectfully, through faux American Indian Ceremonies. It's not a bad thing, it's simply a way of teaching and delivering a positive message.

Not unlike the various Religious organizations throughout the world. Their ceremonies are "show" as well and stereotypical. You do go to church I am sure and likely have opinions about that as well.

These youth organizations are giving countless young people something to believe in and focus on and it works, year after year, generation after generation and creates a brotherhood and network that will last them a lifetime and serve their communities well.

So, let them continue their good work and encourage them to constantly improve their teachings of Native American life, traits and values and stop trying to tear them down.

Find something else to complain about.

Anonymous said...

well mr I have an older sibling in why don't you get involved because maybe then you will see that there is no mocking involved!!! Ha

KSB Lightning Runner said...

The Tribe's initial customs and traditions are primarily those of the plains Indians of Wyoming. It was there that our founder, H. Roe. Bartle was inducted into a genuine Arapaho tribe. Over the years customs from other tribes were added and blended in order to expand the program, make it more compatible and encouraging to Scouting, and to have a more broad representation of various Native American nations.

These are the reasons for Sachems and Chieftains both being separate leadership responsibilities in our tribe. It is most certainly not out of ignorance or deliberate mocking.

That being said, I thank you for your points. We do listen and we do take genuine Native American ideas, ideals, and opinions very seriously because we do have a great deal of respect for all Native American cultures. Many of our customs have been revised or changed as we learn more about the genuine article. For example, music in one of our ceremonies was changed from a chant to flute when it was learned by some tribesmen that Native Americans do not stop chants in the middle, only when the chant is complete.

Anonymous said...

You are calling the Tribe of Mic-o-say a sterotype when you should be looking at your own website.

Blue Corn Comics!?!

If I were to be as naive as you I would say you are doing nothing but bringing down the Native American culture.

Please be a serious writer and get all of the facts before making accusations. Just reading information from the internet one could believe some very outlandish things!

Anonymous said...

Rob, any good author knows that a part of writing an argument is being able to listen to the opposing side. All of the arguments that I have read from my fellow members hold true merit and every response that I have seen from you is of a hostile tone and extreme bias. My ethnicity is not important because what I do know is that my respect for the native tribes of America is more because of this program. I have even studied native traditions, culture, and even spirituality at my university. All of these classes were taught by members of nearby tribes. I was open about my involvement in this program and some had heard of it and not a single one of them ever considered the fact that we might be mocking them. In fact I was invited to a sweat by one of my instructors which, if you really do know your Native tribal customs, is a very rare occurrence for non-members to participate in this tradition. Ignorance is bliss except for when you want to insult a program with a proven track record for excellence and success. The first thing that I would point out to you is I can tell your ignorance just by the title. If you ask any native, or what you call "indian," they do not like this name because it is based off a name they got from another ignorant man. They prefer to be referred to by their specific tribe. My initial reaction to your article was one of anger because first off you are attacking a program that has done nothing but respect native cultures and traditions. By no means do we claim to be perfect. If something comes to our attention about something we are doing that is insulting then you can be sure it will be addressed and corrected.
Rob, I pray upon you the blessings of the Great Spirit so long as you shall live. And I charge you that before you attack our program again you do some research of your own from sources that can be trusted besides Wikipedia.
Yours truly,
Keeper of the Sacred Bundle Smoke Hand
P.S. In our tribe (mic-o-say of St Joseph Missouri) our names are given to us based off of our personality traits, events in our life, skills, and family, much like the traditional way of naming.

Keeper of the Sacred Bundle: Crow Bear said...

First, let me start by stating that I do believe more research on the Tribe of Mic-O-Say is required or your part. You already think we are racist for portraying a Native American culture, so when you click the link to www.micosay.org then you are already against us. However, you do try to do research on an outside source, Wikipedia. The problem with Wikipedia is that it can be changed by the public, and the public may know little about Mic-O-Say. I have seen instances where Wikipedia has been wrong. Even though the subject that I saw has no relevance to Mic-O-Say, Wikipedia should not be trusted as the single outside source for research. If you type Mic-O-Say into Google, then you will find several places that have good information. However, with the little information that you use, we try to give you an inside eye. You seem to voice that we know little about what we are talking about, and disregard what we are trying to say. To me that is disrespectful.

The use of (as you call) “stupid mishmash of stereotypes” is necessary to keep our program authentic. The use of names like Tom-Tom-Beater, Sachem, and Medicine Man keep our young men interested. If we only used one culture, then it probably would be a mockery, but we don’t for that very reason. We try to incorporate our Tribe from Several different Tribes because we can see that several Native American cultures have so much to offer. We are not trying to mock or stereotype any Native American culture, but merely do our best to make young men want to join so that they can enrich their Scouting experience. H. Roe Bartle picked a great theme to grab attention. All Mic-O-Say Tribesmen are members of Boy Scouts of America. H. Roe Bartle knew that he had to pick something “American”. He decided to incorporate the oldest living American culture into something that celebrates the Native Americans and strengthen the Scouting program. If the true Native Americans that we DO have in the Tribe of Mic-O-Say don’t see the harm and are NOT offended by this representation, then why should anyone else? The ceremonies that we have are organized by the young men. You said earlier that you have no problem with teaching discipline and responsibility; however, our ceremonies are our method of teaching discipline and responsibility. This method has worked for 70 years, and has been changed constantly so that we can be as politically correct as possible.

Keeper of the Sacred Bundle: Crow Bear

Keeper of the Sacred Bundle: Crow Bear said...

If you had done more research on H. Roe Bartle, then you would have come across some important information. According to http://usscouts.org/honorsociety/lonebear.asp H. Roe Bartle visited the Wind River Indian Reservation to study the values and culture of the Native American. He was not an intruder, but a humble guest. He was inducted into the Northern Arapaho Tribe as a blood brother and was sponsored into it by a Chief named Lone Bear. It was said earlier that we are given a name, and that was also true for the first Chief of Mic-O-Say. After learning about the Northern Arapaho Tribe, the Tribesmen bestowed the name of his sponsor “Lone Bear” to H. Roe Bartle. So, he did not give himself a stereotypical name, but he earned it as a sign of respect. Each Tribesmen of Mic-O-Say is given a unique name to allow them their own place in the Tribe. We try to relate words within the names that reflect the personality of the Scouter. One night in St. Joseph, MO, the Ku Klux Klan demanded to get rid of H. Roe Bartle for associating with the Native Americans. H. Roe Bartle replied to them, and I quote, “If any three or four of you want to step forward, I'll show you who is running Scouting in St. Joseph.". Even when faced by the most racist people our country has seen, the man stays true to his Scouting beliefs.

So, in conclusion, do your readers a favor and please research a topic well before you tell them how they should feel about. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say does not wish to stereotype or mock any particular culture, but to learn from them to make our program as authentic as possible. The Tribe of Mic-O-Say allows young men to be unique and creative in their Tribal Attire. If our program were to resemble something “patriotic” like the Military, then you would lose that value to something that is “uniformed”. If the young men wish to join any branch of the Armed Forces we don’t discourage them, in fact, we honor them. However, we need to be creative and different from modern society, and the Native Americans allow us to use their culture as a positive background for these young men.

Keeper of the Sacred Bundle: Crow Bear

andrew arthur brant said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
phdennis said...

My name is Patrick Dennis (Little Watchful Buffalo ) my Father was Watchful Buffalo . And am proud to known by this this name.
I became a Warrior in 1962
and went from there to Runner . The tapping to be a warrior was one of the proudest times in ,my childhood .My Father after being on the road for the US Government for two weeks drove 8hours so that he could be at Scout camp to present with my Claws amd welcome me into the bothehood of Mic-o-Say . The values i learned from such men as JD.Hammentree and Father Watermen and many others and most importantly MY DAD . These values cannot be taken away .
Yes I could have learned these values in other areas ,but they were given to me through Mic-o-Say.
We are not mocking the Our Great Native American but rather honoring themand their teaching .
Remember when the Native Americans went to before the whiteman they rarely killed each other .But instead counted coos(?)
It was the white man who taught them to kill in earnest . .
So if a group of young men are taught how to be upstanding members of society and learning a few Native AMerican rituals and cerimonies are a bad thing them bring it on .Becauswe those Ideal I learned through SCouting and the TRIBE OF MIC-O-SAY HAVE HEPED ME THROUGH SOME PRETTY DAMN TOUGH TIMES . Including the military .
If you look in google count them member of the Tribe of MIC-OSAY who have gone on and served our military and in our Governmant .
When you do this and see how many .How many do you count . I've been there and am amazed.

phdennis said...

phdennis as you can see typing is not my strong point

Anonymous said...

Mic-o-Say is simply an interpretation of how Native Americans MAY have acted.

Anonymous said...

My question is really simple... having been around Mic-o-say for about 30 years and seeing it's benefits... who really gives a non native american "crap" what Rob thinks about Mic-o-say... time to move on to another one of the four hundred and fifty million blogs that are out there...

Anonymous said...

Just want to throw out that Wikipedia isn't the best source for information. Personally, it devalues your analysis incredulously. Why don't you try it out? Dedicate your time and become a member. Then you will see exactly what it is all about.

-FBDOW