These are the requirements for one of the badges I’m supposed to be teaching at Scout Camp: Indian Lore
1. Give the history of one American Indian tribe, group, or nation that lives or has lived near you. Visit it, if possible. Tell about traditional dwellings, way of life, tribal government, religious beliefs, family and clan relationships, language, clothing styles, arts and crafts, food preparation, means of getting around, games, customs in warfare, where members of the group now live, and how they live.
2. Do TWO of the following. Focus on a specific group or tribe.
a. Make an item of clothing worn by members of the tribe.
b. Make and decorate three items approved by your counselor used by the tribe.
c. Make an authentic model of a dwelling used by any Indian tribe, group, or nation.
d. Visit a museum to see Indian artifacts. Discuss them with your counselor. Identify at least ten artifacts by tribe or nation, their shape, size, and use.
3. Do ONE of the following:
a. Learn three games played by a group or tribe. Teach and lead one game with a Scout group.
b. Learn and show how a tribe traditionally cooked or prepared food. Make three food items.
c. Give a demonstration showing how a specific Indian group traditionally hunted, fished, or trapped.
4. Do ONE of the following:
a. Write or briefly describe how life would have been different for the European settlers if there had been no Indians to meet them when they came to this continent.
b. Sing two songs in an Indian language. Explain their meaning.
c. Learn in an Indian language at least twenty-five common terms and their meanings.
d. Show twenty-five signs in Indian sign language. Include those that will help you ask for water, food, and where the path or road leads.
e. Learn in English (or in the language you commonly speak at home or in the troop) an Indian story of at least three hundred words, or any number off shorter ones adding up to three hundred words. Tell the story or stories at a Scout meeting or campfire.
f. Write or tell about eight things adopted by others from American Indians.
g. Learn twenty-five Indian place-names. Tell their origins and meanings.
h. Name five well-known American Indian leaders, either from the past or people of today. Give their tribes or nations. Describe what they did or do now that makes them notable.
i. Learn about the Iroquois Confederacy, including how and why it was formed. Tell about its governing system, and its importance to the framers of our Constitution of the United States.
I’m trying to concentrate on the Nipmuc/Algonquin/Pequot/Naragansett who lived in the area where the scouts who come to our camp, live. It’s hard. Most of the games of NA origin that we know are prairie games (though some of them are pretty good games…). I’d like to learn some language, but again, resources are a little short.
4a is right out. I’m not going to let kids imagine a world without native tribes. It didn’t happen, and it’s bad form to let anyone pretend that it did. If there hadn’t been any First Nations people here, the white men would have starved.
Numbers 4 and 1 are the ones that are hardest for me right now. In theory, I know how native houses were constructed, and we’ve actually built a frame now. In theory, I know how cordage was made, and I think we have enough grasses and other plants around the lake to make some. I’m also comfortable, in theory, with having the kids make their own bow drills for fire-starting. I’ve seen one, I looked up the kinds of wood they/I need, and I’m confident we’re on the right track.
Today begins the actual test of my theoretical knowledge, though. Hmmm, and I say again, hmmmm. Anyone wants to point me at some northeastern First Nations games, that would be appreciated.