Boy Scout Archives: Indian Lore Merit Badge
Far different from the stereotypes or common images that are portrayed on film, on television, and in many books and stories, American Indians have many different cultures, languages, religions, styles of dress, and ways of life. To learn about these different groups is to take an exciting journey of discovery in which you will meet some of America’s most fascinating peoples.
Indian Lore Merit Badge Requirements
- 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.
- Do TWO of the following. Focus on a specific group or tribe.
- Make an item of clothing worn by members of the tribe.
- Make and decorate three items used by the tribe, as approved by your counselor.
- Make an authentic model of a dwelling used by an Indian tribe, group, or nation.
- Visit a museum to see Indian artifacts. Discuss them with your counselor. Identify at least 10 artifacts by tribe or nation, their shape, size, and use.
- Do ONE of the following:
- Learn three games played by a group or tribe. Teach and lead one game with a Scout group.
- Learn and show how a tribe traditionally cooked or prepared food. Make three food items.
- Give a demonstration showing how a specific Indian group traditionally hunted, fished, or trapped.
- Do ONE of the following:
- Write or briefly describe how life might have been different for the European settlers if there had been no native Americans to meet them when they came to this continent.
- Sing two songs in an Indian language. Explain their meanings.
- Learn in an Indian language at least 25 common terms and their meanings.
- Show 25 signs in Indian sign language. Include those that will help you ask for water, for food, and where the path or road leads.
- Learn in English (or the language you commonly speak at home or in the troop) an Indian story of at least 25 words, or any number of shorter ones adding up to 300 words. Tell the story or stories at a Scout meeting or campfire.
- Write or tell about eight things adopted by others from American Indians.
- Learn 25 Indian place names. Tell their origins and meanings.
- 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.
- Learn about the Iroquois Confederacy, including how and why it was formed. Tell about its governing system. Describe some of the similarities and differences between the governments of the United States and of the Six Nations (The Haudenosaunee or Iroquois Confederacy).
Indian Lore Merit Badge for Boy Scouts The Indian Lore merit badge is a favorite for our first year Boy Scouts at summer camp. I can always tell which Scouts are working on the badge because they are usually walking around with a necklace with beads on.
More Than Moccasins: A Kid's Activity Guide to Traditional North American Indian Life This book will help any Cub Scouts working on a Native American themed achievement.
Cultural Diversity/Disability Awareness Troop Program Feature for Boy Scouts The focus of this program feature is on respecting different cultures. The big feature for the program theme is either a cultural awareness campout or a cultural fair.
Tabletop Tipi Model Scouts who are doing a Native American themed meeting or activity can create a simple tipi model to get the idea of how these versatile dwellings are constructed. We made these at a Cub Scout training session and they were very easy.
Native American Prayer Native American lore is an important part of the Boy Scout and Cub Scout programs. This prayer is attributed to Chief Sealth (for whom Seattle is named).
Hubbub - A Native American Dice Game This is a traditional Native American game. The scoring systems seem to vary from one reference to another, so the system below is a simplified system which scouts should be able to follow.
Requirements and Helps for Boy Scout Merit Badges You can learn about sports, crafts, science, trades, business, and future careers as you earn merit badges. There are more than 100 merit badges.
Why Opossum Has a Bare Tail This is a Native American story which scouts of all ages can enjoy. It is also a cautionary tale for young men who like to build huge campfires.
Pahsahëman - A Native American Field Game Pahsahëman is similar to football. It has been played by the Lenape of the American Northeast for many generations. These instructions include tips for adapting this game for use with scouts.
Picaria - A Native American Game Picaria is a Native American board game. It is like a cross between tic-tac-toe and checkers. It could be used with Tiger, Wolf, or Bear electives or with a group working on the Indian Lore merit badge.