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Vigil Honor (Read 2778 times)
schneizenator
Ex Member




Vigil Honor
02/16/05 at 22:03:21
 
For those of you who are not familiar with the OA setup, when an arrowman is nominated by another arrowman, and approved by a higher authority, he is given the Vigil honor. After another period of self-improvement and reflection, you are given the honor as well as a Delaware Indian name. To me (a 14 year old non-Indian ) this seems offensive, preaching that you can become an Indian by being a good person. Personally, I see no purpose to this part of the program (not to say this is the only part). Your thoughts?
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Spirit
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #1 - 02/19/05 at 10:57:55
 
schneizenator

You're a breath of fresh air for me today.  I agree, there is no purpose - other than the subliminal message that it's okay to steal whatever we (mainstream society) like from the American Indian culture and make it our own.  We've been doing this for hundreds of years.  We (mainstream society) are hell-bent to finish the extermination policy (genocide) we began when we first arrived and lied to them about wanting to be their "friends."  

A naming ceremony is very sacred, and the sacred ceremony is rarely performed for non-Indians.  It is certainly NOT performed for entertainment.  It certainly should NOT be performed by the Boy Scouts.  It trivializes and mocks the various American Indian cultures.

There are hoards of wannabe Indians who claim they have been given a name, but they've been fooled by phony "shamen" and sellouts trying to make some money.  Many of these phonies also work as consultants for the Boy Scouts to give their Indian activities some "authenticity."  They enjoy being Hollywood Indians for you boys - it makes them feel important.

You appear to know the meaning of respect - good for you!
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schneizenator
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #2 - 02/21/05 at 17:06:39
 
I agree, there are laws in the United States stating that you cant call yourself "The Honorable XXX" unless you are a high ranking congressman, but yet it ok for someone to take the identity of someone or a culture because of their achievements.

I'm all for the OA and boy scouts (being a member of both myself), but this needs to stop.
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Ian
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #3 - 03/02/05 at 19:52:19
 
Ok, one thing needs to get cleared up...the Vigil Honor names are NOT stolen native american identities. Vigil Honor names are names given to people, most of which are earned from a memorable moment in that person's OA "career", if you will, and then the person is given the Delaware translation of that name. For example, one of our past (and probably best) Lodge Chiefs, Hamilton Whaley, has the Vigil Honor name "Broken Drum." That name was earned because he is a very VERY fine drummer for our Dance and Drum team, and his honor beats get to the point where you think he is going to tear a hole in the drum. I REPEAT: these names are NOT stolen from any native americans, they are made up for that specific person.
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Spirit
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #4 - 03/04/05 at 11:22:17
 
Ian

It's not a matter of using real Native American names, it's the issue of mocking Native American ceremonies for your own entertainment.
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schneizenator
Ex Member




Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #5 - 03/04/05 at 21:11:23
 
Ian

I'm not saying that the Vigil honor members are taking certain people's identities, but the fact that they are given Indian names conveys, consciously or not, that they somehow have "become" and Indian.

If your name is Juan, for instance, people are going to think you are Spanish or Mexican. If your name is Vladamir, people are going to think you are Russian. I completely understand what the people who made the Vigil names are trying to accomplish (like you said Ian) but why not give them that name in English?

Seriously, what is the purpose of giving someone a second name? Even if you think that it doesn't hurt the Native Americans, you must admit, it certainly downplays the importance of your birth name.

Hope you followed that--

Adam
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OAdancer457
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #6 - 03/04/05 at 21:56:58
 
Matt...you said we need not have more than one name...Then why do we have middle and last names? Why not just simply be called Bob, Fred, Sam, or something else? After all, that would just be one name.
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OAdancer457
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #7 - 03/04/05 at 22:12:48
 
schneizenator, what lodge are you with? Do they not have a dance or ceremonies team?
This year I am eligible for the Vigil Honor, and it is something you can never earn...even after it finds you, you still work hard to live up to it.

The OA is such a great thing, and many American Indians feel that it is, which as I can see there have been a few on here which aren't for it either...Maybe if they were exposed to Lodges who actually cared they would be all for it though. We aren't trying to be anything we can't be...The OA is just trying to carry on and teach the traditions of the Delaware nation.

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schneizenator
Ex Member




Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #8 - 03/05/05 at 20:23:18
 
Tyler,

I am a brotherhood member of Tichora Lodge #146. Yes, they have dance and drum teams. I do not know how accurate their portrayal is of the Native Americans, but I must admit that they have mentioned things like they gained permission to use certain songs.

I'm just saying, why can't these names be given in English. Is it really a Delaware tradition to bestow names in their language to people because they show committment to certain ideals? Even so, would it be right for non-Delaware people to bestow these names?

I realize that many American Indians think the BSA-OA is a good thing, but do they generally (not necessarily everybody) credit it for teaching about Native American culture. No, I think that these people approve of the OA for the same reason you or I do--it promotes brotherhood, cheerfulness, and service. But do we really need a bunch of guys dressed up as Indians to tell us this?
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Ian
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #9 - 03/07/05 at 15:49:04
 
Spirit, Spirit, Spirit....*sigh*...must we go into this again? The ceremonies conducted are, in no way, stolen from the Native Americans. They are the property of the Order of the Arrow and no one elses except those that belong to the OA. Please excuse my frustration, but we've been over this subject time and time again. The ONLY thing that makes people like you think we are stealing from the native american people, is the fact that yes, we do use four principles that have names translated to Lennae Lennape: Allowat Sakima, Nutiket, Meteu, and Kitchkenet. Also we use native american regalia in our ceremonies and dances.
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Spirit
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #10 - 03/07/05 at 16:16:46
 
Ian, Ian, Ian  Roll Eyes  Grin

OAdancer says the OA is "just trying to carry on and teach the traditions of the Delaware nation."  So why is there no direct connection/association with the Delaware Nation in Oklahoma?

You say you only use the regalia and dances of the American Indians - but you are not only using Delaware regalia and dances, are you?  If the OA is trying to carry on the traditions of the Delaware nation, why are you using regalia and dances of other nations?  You stereotype the various Indian nations by lumping them all together - i.e., "you've see one, you've seen 'em all."
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Andrew
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #11 - 03/30/05 at 19:42:36
 
Spirit,

     Vigil Honor is an amazing achievemnt for those who deserve it. I am writing Vigil letters and selecting names for my Vice Chief. My Vigil name is Milach Sakima, meaning "Curly hairded Chief." I am very proud of my accomplishment, and I in NO way think that because my Vigil name is in Lenne Lenape that my geneology suddenly has changed. Stop trying to be controversial. If your bitterness roots from not attaining Vigil Honor, then be vigilant and maybe someone will recognize your dedication to scouting.
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Spirit
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #12 - 03/31/05 at 07:21:25
 
Andrew

Why do you assume I'm bitter?  I'm a 46-year-old woman - my family recognizes me, and that's all the recognition I need in life.

I'm glad you are proud of yourself and your accomplishments.  I have nothing against Scouting in general - only the stereotyping of American Indians.  I do not believe the OA honors American Indians as they say they do.  Instead, I find their actions disrespectful and highly offensive.

Why is it no one can answer my questions?  Maybe you can answer these questions.

1.  How does the OA honor American Indians, and why should American Indians feel honored?
2.  Why is it an honor to American Indians that you've given yourself a name in the Lenne Lenape language?
3.  Why do you feel the OA is qualified to preserve the Lenne Lenape culture?
4.  If the OA is supposedly preserving the Lenne Lenape culture, why do they dance and sing songs of other nations?
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schneizenator
Ex Member




Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #13 - 04/03/05 at 16:09:31
 
Andrew--

I didn't have a problem with the vigil name until I heard that these people had a problem with it. Just because it seems OK to you, does that mean that everyone feels the same way? Take anti-black racism for a minute. If you or I think it is ok to call someone a "n*****" does that mean we should do it?
To me, it seems self-centered to think that we should be able to do whatever we judge as right without heeding anyone else's feelings.

I said that some of the Indians feel like their heritage is being trampled when others take the name. I'm am not saying that the people who receive the honor are actively doing it. I just hope that more people are mindful of their feelings. After all, it is them who the ceremonies are supposedly based.

I am not bitter about not recieving the vigil honor. First of all, I am not even eligible, and second of all, I am not saying it is bad, in fact, I think it a great thing to receive. Congratualations, Andrew, for earning it, I am not trying to take anything away from you, and I hope you agree
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OAdancer457
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Re: Vigil Honor
Reply #14 - 04/05/05 at 20:00:26
 
Adam,

I gotta say you are the man...You will not get into it about anything...I know I am a really passive person...but I think you have me beaten....

Everyone,

I do admit that not the OA, but some of our fellow lodges have disrepsected some of the American Indian tribes...Many lodges are and aren't aware that they are doing this because they are ignarant with their knowlwedge...Nothing is stolen though....

Spirit,

Why can't you use constructive criticism?...All it seems that you do is attack the OA, when in fact it isn't the OA as a whole...it's just some other lodges that need help...Consider helping and not attacking and I guarantee you will become a better person out of it.
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