GREEN FAMILY Y.M.C.A.
THE FATHER AND SON
The purpose of the Father and Son Y-Indian Guide Program
is to foster the understanding and companionship of
Father and Son
1. To be clean in body and pure in heart
2. To be “Pals Forever” with my father/son
3. To love the sacred circle of my family
4. To be attentive while others speak
5. To love my neighbor as myself
6. To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit’s
work in forest, field and stream
other, to our family, to this tribe, to our community,
seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit.”
The central theme of the Headband is the eye of the Great Spirit surrounded by the four winds of heaven. The feathered arrow designs which extend right and left from the central symbol represent the useful services of father and son. Whenever outstanding accomplishment existed, the Indians noted it. Its significance was recognized, often in the form of feathers. The fact that the father and son achievements are united in the center of the design is interpreted to mean that fathers and sons together, under the eye of the Great Spirit, are seeking to help each other in the services they render.
To the right is the symbol of the mother and home. A line connects the mother symbol with the teepee, or home symbol. The fact that it is a home symbol is shown by the fire in the teepee. These symbols add to the richness of the central theme for it is in service to mother and home that many of the more significant achievements of father and son will take place.
Far to the right are symbols of day and forest. Far to the left are symbols of mountain, lake, field, and stream, with the moon for night. Here again, these symbols tend to enrich the central theme, giving broader scope to services by centering the efforts of father and son in village and community life, and as the ritual says, “in forest, field and stream.” Briefly stated, the headband may be interpreted in these words: “Father and son, through friendly service to each other, to our family, to this tribe, and to our community, seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit.”
THE TRIBE TO WHICH YOU
A tribe is a group of 6 to 9 parent/child teams who:
§ Meet once a month in the homes of members on a rotating basis.
§ Have parent/child and family outings on a regular basis.
§ Participate in inter-tribal (called Nation or Longhouse) and YMCA events as tribes and families.
§ Have parent meetings several times a year to develop plans and handle problems.
A tribe meeting might include:
§ Ceremony (see opening and closing rituals)
§ Activities such as: crafts, stories, Indian lore, games, songs, and service projects.
§ Refreshments (provided by host family)
§ A tribe meeting length should be no more than 1½ hours.
This is one of the parents who sees that there is continuity in meetings, and acts as the leader of the group. He presides at parent’s meetings, delegates assignments and checks to see that the jobs are being done. He is the tribal contact person for the YMCA and represents the tribe at the monthly Nation meetings. Some tribes change Chiefs every six months, but tribes should keep in mind the need for continuity. He collects and forwards monies for the Nation’s membership, campouts, etc.
He takes over the duties of Chief when the Chief is not able to attend meetings. He may accompany the chief to the Nation meetings, and is possibly in training for the Chief’s job.
This parent is responsible for the collection and safekeeping of the tribe wampum.
The parent who writes the tribe news articles for the Smoke Signal and also has the responsibility of maintaining the tribe history scrapbook or photo album.
The wise parent of the tribe, usually the past Chief. He constantly reminds all members of the aims of the program. He leads the tribe in many service projects and helps with the establishment of new tribes.
OTHER TRIBE ROLES
The parent responsible for providing a meeting place, opening prayer, a game or story, a craft or arranging a tour. He is responsible for notifying all Tribe members of the upcoming meeting.
Son of the host calls the meeting to order with 12 beats on the tribe drum. The Drum Beater also collects the dues.
A Typical Y-Indian Guide Program
7:00 Chief calls meeting to order by asking one of the children to beat on the Tribal Drum once for each child present. Talking should stop. Prayer or opening ceremony. Flag salute (if flag is available).
7:10 Tallykeeper takes roll. Wampum Bearer collects tribe dues: each little Brave shares what he did to earn Wampum. Wampum bag is passed around.
7:15 Chief asks for Scouting Reports. Use of the talking stick is recommended as each child shares his Scouting Report.
7:25: Business Meeting
§ Announcements by Chief of any upcoming inter-tribal events. YMCA news, etc.
§ Review plan for next meeting, using chart on page of this manual.
7:35 Craft or Game
7:50 Light refreshments
8:00 Story and/or songs
8:25 Head for home
Format for a Typical Tribe Meeting
You are expected to wear you Indian costume and beads
to each tribe meeting. A tribe meeting should last no
more then 1½ hours, beginning at 7:00 PM and
adjourning at 8:30.
Drum Beater: On the signal from the Chief, he strikes the drum 12 times in the four directions of the earth.
All taking stops and Little Braves take their position
near their fathers.
§ Opening Ritual
Chief: The mighty _______________ Tribe of the
Manikiki Nation meets tonight. Let us offer a prayer to
the Great Spirit.
Host: Offers a prayer to the Great Spirit.
Drum Beater: Collects dues from each Big and Little
Brave. When each Little Brave pays his dues, he
tells how he earned his dues. An alternate question
could relate to a current situation, e.g. what are you
looking forward to at the camp out or vacations, etc.
Chief: Thank Big and Little host for the invitation and
hospitality. It may be explained that Indians never
turned a guest away and were very hospitable
Chief: Sharing time. Chief asks any of the Little
Braves if they have anything they wish to share with
the other Tribe members. Each Little Brave is given a
few minutes each to share his experience with his father
or at school or on vacation.
The following need not be done every meeting, but
should be an important part of your program.
§ Child learns to express himself
§ Importance is given to sharing with father.
Old Business: Keep all business short
Turn Meeting Over to Host
The host may at this time tell a story, teach a dance, or
share something of interest about Indians with the
After the story, the host should have a simple craft
project which can be completed before the end of the
meeting. Be sure to have worked your craft out before
the meeting and have a sample made up. The craft
should try to involve father and son working together.
When the craft is complete, the host may elect to play a
game if time permits.
Refreshments: Just two items such as cupcakes and
cocoa should be served. At this time the fathers can talk about upcoming events or announcements.
Closing Ritual: Tribe stands in circle, father
behind son, all facing the center. At this time announce
when the next meeting will be held. After the meeting
announcement, offer the closing Prayer.
SUGGESTED OUTLINE FOR FIRST THREE
TRIBE MEETINGS AND ONE FATHER’S MEETING
FIRST MEETING: Sample meeting with Council Representative. Be sure a craft is planned for this meeting. First meeting should be held in the first full week after the sign-up meeting.
FATHER’S MEETING: Start thinking of a tribe name and individual Indian names for father and sons. Choose your Indian names with care and thought. No father and son may use a tribe name for their own Indian name. Begin thinking of the tribe colors, symbol, and uniform. Keeping in mind that these uniforms will be used in summer and winter and for a lot of activities. Discuss meeting place and host rotation. NOTE: When picking a tribe name be sure you can illustrate this name in a picture form.
SECOND MEETING Meet with Council Officers. Receive booklets and pay dues. Dues are payable by November 1. Council Officers will answer questions and tell more about the workings of this program. The little braves should be entertained during this meeting.
THIRD MEETING Vote on tribe name. Craft should be small drum for each little brave or a tribe drum.
TRIBE NAMES AND YOUR INDIAN NAME
During the first few meetings, stories can be introduced about tribe namesake. Fathers can help by thinking of names that their sons might enjoy, which may initiate thinking on the sons’ part. Both father and sons can receive the same name, the distinguishing feature being “Big” and “Little”. No two little braves can be named the same name in the same tribe. A name can be used if the little brave has left the program. This follows the Indian ideal that a name was very special, and once named, an Indian could never change it except in cases of extreme acts of courage. Then a new name was bestowed on him as an honor, much in the same way we give medals to our heroes today.
Tribe names are very important. Pick a name that will be easy to illustrate. No big or little brave may take a name of a tribe.
Tribe dues are collected during each meeting. As the little brave gives his dues, he tells of the task he did to earn his money. The standard amount is one dollar ($1) for big and little braves. The importance lies in the little brave earning his money. The dues may be used for special events that may come up.
IDEAS FOR MEETING INVITATIONS
Paint brush Canoes Teepees
Tomahawks Arrows Quivers
Headdresses Trip Symbols Train
Loaf of Bread Plane Fire Hat
Police Badge Birch Bark Card
Stretched Hide Animal Tracks Campfires
Trees Leaves Feathers
Seasonal Symbols Shields Snowshoes
Peace Pipe Corn Sun, Moon
Stars Shirts Moccasins
Tools Pottery Drums
Indian Silhouettes Navajo Design Totem Poles
Animal Silhouettes Arrowheads Bookmark
Stick on stars arranged in constellations
Animal that represents Indian names of host.
INVITATIONS TO TRIBAL MEETINGS
Every father and son gets several turns in the course of the year to make invitations. So often this is considered as only a bother, rather than as a good opportunity to achieve the Y-Indian Guide programs purpose. First, try to choose something that relates to Indians or to God or Nature in some way. It need not be elaborate. It need not be authentic; e.g. a paper teepee that your son has decorated is much better than a real leather one that the father needed to do all the work in making.
Second, the projects should be simple enough that the task of making enough for the whole tribe is not too lengthy or difficult.
Third, it should be something that both father and son can work on, or each has a portion of the project to do.
Fourth, allow enough time, probably two evenings so that the time spent together will be fun, and your son can be proud of your invitations.
Fifth, often an invitation can be made that will encourage the other dads and sons to work together also…such as putting one bell on a rawhide thong, along with a tag telling the meeting time and place. And, with more bells and some fur or leather, this invitation can be made into ankle bells for your Indian costume and dances.
Sixth, use Indian sign language and wordage as much as possible. For example:
Meeting without the children several times during the year can eliminate most of the common shortcomings of tribes. The big value of the meetings is the ironing out of tiresome business details without boring the children. Any business that that takes more than five minutes in a tribe meeting ought to be referred to the parents’ meeting instead. Plans for trips, special events, etc. go much smoother with the parent’s alone. Making assignments rarely inspires children, and can be done for a month or a semester at a time in a parent’s meeting. The parents with logical excuses are not embarrassed to explain their reasons for not caring to do a certain task.
Discussions about big things to come can be carried on without getting the children all excited too early. A weekend camp two months away can be planned by the parent’s without making the wait too long for the children.
Another great feature of parent’s meetings is the learning possibilities. Evaluations, ways to improve, and discussions of weak features of tribal meetings can be discussed objectively by the parents alone. This is a place where the Indian Agent can listen to your problems and then help you to solve them.
The best use of parent’s meeting time is spent in trying to understand better their own child, learning how to be truly closer pals and friends to their sons, trying to cope with behavior problems, etc. The “Y” again is anxious to help in this field, but often much understanding can be gained by a frank discussion among the parents themselves.
At a parents’ meeting, parents have a chance to review the manuals or the latest books and magazine articles that will help them to be better parents of Y-Indian Guides/Braves. They can share ideas on improving invitations, games or stores.
The “Y” Staff stands ever ready to help your tribe develop good parents’ meetings.
CHECK LIST FOR MEETING
§ Parents called night before to assure attendance
§ Start on time
§ Everyone has a chance to talk and contribute
§ Agreements reached on items
§ Specific assignments made
§ Date set for next parents’ meeting
§ Refreshments served during the meeting
§ Minutes of the Meeting distributed to all members
TEN TIPS FOR GOOD TRIBE MEETINGS
1. Each meeting should be carefully planned.
2. To encourage promptness, begin your meeting on time regardless of the number of braves present. equally important, end on time.
3. Keep business to minimum during meetings. Any business requiring more than ten minutes should be saved for fathers meeting.
4. Each big and little brave should have permission before speaking.
5. Fathers and sons should sit together during meetings.
6. All little braves must remain in the area where the meeting is being held. They should not be allowed to enter other rooms of the house.
7. The Chief should insist upon quiet and order during the tribe meetings. Each father is responsible for his son’s behavior.
8. Should absence be necessary due to an emergency such as an illness, the Chief or the Host should be notified as soon as possible. Only on consent of the tribe can little braes attend without their fathers.
9. Projects, stories, and activities should be kept within abilities of little braves.
10. Serve only two simple items for refreshments.
The first step in telling a good story is to find the proper story. You must keep in mind the type of people to whom you are to tell the story. Their age is another important factor. Avoid both over morbid or goody-goody stories. Your story may be taken from history, literature, the Bible, or a contemporary new item. After finding this story, the storyteller should know his story. Never, read a story from a book. It is impossible to have any personal contact with your audience when reading aloud to them. Read and re-read your story yourself until you can visualize each character and each scene in relation to the climax.
When telling a story, try to tell it as dramatically as possible.
TRIBAL PROJECTS AND PROPERTY
It is important for each tribe to make its own set of tribal property. Tribes tend to keep collecting equipment as they progress in organization and program activities. These resources add much to the feeling in tribal meetings. At the same time genuine enthusiasm and friendship can be developed among the members while they are engaged in making the following items of basic equipment which each tribe will need:
1. Tribal Chest or property box 2. Tribal Drum
3. Council Fire 4. Totem Pole
5. Money Pouch 6. Talking stick or rock
7. Charter Frame 8. Tribal Scrapbook
9. Tribal Standard 10. Tribal Teepee
TRIBAL CHEST – PROPERTY BOX
This box should be large enough for all tribal properties, yet small enough to handle easily. It is suggested that it be approximately 2’6” long, 18” wide and 12” high. It should be a hinged, covered box with a latch so that it can be decorated. This box will hold most of the tribal property, including totem, drum, campfire, headbands, etc. Plywood is recommended for construction of this box. Even an old footlocker, painted and decorated, will make a very satisfactory chest. A lock will come in handy also.
The tribal drum is an indispensable piece of equipment for the Y-Indian Guide Tribe. Tribal participation in making the drum builds a strong feeling of ownership and teamwork. The drum is used regularly in meeting ceremonies, and it should not be considered a toy. It should be made and used with care, for it is one of the principal Native American musical instruments.
There are several ways to make a tribal drum. A good body can be made from a clean, tight wooden nail keg, round cheese box, or cheese hoop. Be sure to keep the drum small enough to fit into the property box. Rawhide makes a good drumhead. It should be about two or three inches larger than the diameter of the body. Scraps left over from the head can be used for thongs.
The body should be smoothed. The ends where the head will be stretched may be padded with a thin pad cloth or soft leather. Holes or leaks through which air may escape should be sealed as tightly as possible in order to preserve the good tone of the drum.
PREPARING THE HEAD - The rawhide should be soaked in warm water for about 4 to 6 hours. Frequent changes of water will help remove dirt and other matter left on the hide. Cut two circles out of the rawhide that are a few inches larger in diameter than the diameter of the body. Around the edge of the circle, one inch from the edge, cut a series of holes three inches apart. These holes should be in the shape of a narrow “V”, the legs of which are one-half inch long, with the open end of “V” facing the circumference of the circle.
ASSEMBLY - The body is placed with one end sitting on one of the heads and with the other end covered by the other head. With thongs cut from scraps of wet rawhide, begin lacing through the holes cut for lacing, using a diagonal pattern. When the lacing reaches around to the point of beginning, have someone hold the two ends together while you go back around and take up all the slack. Then tie the ends together with a secure square knot. Let the drum dry slowly and evenly. The uncured rawhide should be coated with a protective coating of clear varnish to retard deterioration. Don’t forget to decorate the tribal drum.
BEATER – First wind cotton cord or gauze bandage around a supple stick about 12 inches in length. Wrap this with a couple of strips of adhesive tape and then with soft leather.
TRIBAL RITUALS AND PRAYERS
1. Wakonda dhedhu Wapadhin atonhe
Watonda dhedhu Wapadhin atonhe
Father, a needy one stands before Thee;
I who speak am he (Omaha Tribal Prayer)
2. Keeper of the strong rain, drumming on the
mountain; Lord of the small rain, that restores the earth in newness. Keeper of the clean rain, hear a prayer of WHOLENESS.
Little Brave, Big Brave, hear a prayer for fleetness. keeper of the deer’s way, reared among the eagles, clear my feet of slothness. Keeper of the paths of men, hear a prayer for STRAIGHTNESS.
Hear a prayer for courage. Lord of the thin peaks, reared among the thunders; keeper of the headlands, holding up the harvests, keeper of the strong rocks, hear a prayer for STAUNCHNESS.
3. “We, Father ___________ and Son ____________
through friendly service to each other, to our family, to this tribe and to our community, seek a world pleasing to the eye of the Great Spirit.”
4. An Indian Blessing: “May the Great Spirit make
sunrise in your heart.”
5. Aztec’s Golden Rule: “If a brave wishes others not to injure him, injure not others.”
6. “O God, show me the way of wisdom, and give me
strength to follow it without fear.”
“O Great spirit, give to me to mind my own business at all
time, and to lose no good opportunity for holding my tongue.”
8. “Help me to win, if win I may, but if it is not for me to win, let me have joy for he who does.”
Using opening and closing rituals in your meetings can add a great deal. Rituals are exciting to children this age. Below are several examples of both opening and closing rituals. It is suggested that after exploring several types, your tribe chooses one or creates one that they will call their own.
1. Chief: What is the slogan of fathers and sons?
Tribe: “Pals Forever” in teepee, village and tribe.
Chief: What is the purpose of Y-Indian Guides?
Tribe: To foster companionship of father and son.
Chief: What are the aims of Y-Indian Guides?
Tribe: To be clean in body and pure in heart.
To be “Pals Forever” with my dad/son.
To love the sacred circle of my family.
To be attentive while others speak.
To seek and preserve the beauty of the
Great Spirit’s work in forest, field and
Chief: Let us have one minute of silent prayer.
2. Chief: What is the slogan of fathers and sons?
Tribe: “Pals Forever”
Chief: Drum Beater, what is an Indian Guide?
Beater: A boy with a dad like mine.
Chief: And your office, what does it mean?
Beater: The beating of the drum calls the tribe
together and tells its members to come
Chief: Asks two or three other little braves what
their office is and what they do. Little
2. CHIEF AND TRIBE:
Great Spirit of the universe, guide us till we meet again. (Start with arms and faces upraised… lower slowly until end of prayer.)
TIPS FOR KEEPING YOUR TRIBE STRONG
1. Have a Chief who believes in Indian Guides.
2. Have an outfit or costume for every member and wear it at tribe meetings.
3. Set meeting dates and let nothing interfere.
4. Hold tribe meetings twice a month. Alternate
meetings with some other activity, such as tours,
swimming, good shows, etc.
5. Tribe Chief or representative attends all Nation
6. All Fathers attend Father’s Meetings held to
discuss business or any upcoming events.
7. Tribe unity, enthusiasm and tribe strength can be
developed though special events, tribe and family
outings and activities. Attend all Nation Events
8. Write job descriptions for all tribe officers.
9. Tribe member should evaluate their tribe program
periodically and adjust, if required, to improve
INDIAN GUIDE NECKLACE
Beads and Bear Claws are given to both big and little braves for attendance and/or participation at Nation events. The necklace is a visual display of the big and little Braves activity in the Nation and the length of time they have belonged to the Indian Guide Program.
Beads are earned or obtained by attending scheduled Nation events. Beads are awarded for all Nation events except the Ghoul Walk, Christmas Project and Fundraiser.
The Bear/Eagle Claws are special and are awarded for only competition events and service projects. The three events for which the Bear/Eagle Claws are awarded include the Christmas Project, Fundraiser and the Ghoul Walk.
TRIBE FEATHER ORDER
Each brave receives a feather for each year he is a member of Indian Guides. The colors are as follows:
0 Year Red Feather
1 Year Yellow Feather
2 Year Blue Feather
3 Year White Feather
4 Year Green Feather
5 Year Orange Feather
6 Year Black Feather
7 Year Pink Feather
8 Year Brown Feather
9 Year Fuchsia Feather
10 Year Black & White Feather
11 Year Yellow Stripe
12 Year Blue Stripe
13 Year Red Stripe
14 Year Green Stripe
15 Year Orange Strip
16 Year Purple Stripe
17 Year Pink Stripe
Indian Tribes used to communicate and send information to other tribes through the use of smoke signals. Likewise, the Manikiki Nation communicates with all tribes and all members of the Nation through the MANIKIKI NATION SMOKE SIGNALS.
THE SMOKE SIGNALS is a monthly newsletter written and assembled by the Nation Tallykeeper then printed and distributed by the YMCA. It is published after each Nation Longhouse meeting. Included in the SMOKE SIGNALS is information on upcoming Nation events, articles submitted by each tribe and current activities and projects. Also, the birthdays of all Little Braves for the particular month.
Outgoing Little Brave
Each year the Manikiki Nation recognizes the accomplishments or the services rendered by individuals and tribes and award them momentos for those deeds. The following are the awards the Manikiki Nation
TRIBE CHIEF: The Nation presents to each Big Brave a medallion for each term served as Tribe Chief. There are normally two terms each year for Tribe Chief. The medallions are awarded during the Camp Fire Ceremony at the Spring and Fall Campouts.
BIG MEDICINE AWARD: After each event year the Nation presents a trophy, plaque or t-shirt to each little brave in the Tribe that accumulates the most Big Medicine points. Big Medicine points are earned through attendance at Nation Events, competitive games at Nation Events, tribe sponsoring of Nation Events, and as otherwise described in the Nation Constitution. The winning tribe also has their Tribe name inscribed on the Big Medicine Award traveling trophy that reflects all Big Medicine Award winners. The Big Medicine Award is presented at the Annual Banquet.
PARTICIPATION AWARD: After each event year, the Nation presents a medallion to each Little Brave who has missed one or less scheduled Nation Events. Little Braves, who are in their first year in Indian Guides, are allowed to miss the first Nation Event in October without being penalized. The Participation awards are presented at the Annual Banquet.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD: Each year, the Manikiki Nation presents an Outstanding Service award to one or more outgoing Big Braves. A Nation member nominates eligible Big Braves. The Nation Council selects the recipients of the awards. The Outstanding Service Award is presented at the Annual Banquet.
JOE FRIDAY AWARD: Each year the Manikiki Nation presents the Joe Friday Award to one or more Big Braves. A Nation member nominates eligible Big Braves. The Joe Friday committee (made up of past award winners) selects the recipients of the awards. The Joe Friday award is presented at the Annual Banquet.
OUTGOING LITTLE BRAVE: When a Little Brave reaches the age of ten, he may elect to leave the Indian Guide program. Each Little Brave, electing to leave the program after he becomes 10 until the mandatory departure age of 12, is presented by the Nation with an Outgoing Brave Award as a momento for his years in Indian Guides. This award is presented at the Annual Banquet.
ORIGIN OF Y.M.C.A.
The Father and Son Y-Indian guide Program was developed in a deliberated way to support the father’s vital family role as teacher, counselor, and friend to his son. Harold S. Keltner, St. Louis YMCA Director, as an integral part of Association work, initiated the program. In 1926 he organized the first tribe in Richmond Heights, Missouri, with the help of his good friend, Joe Friday, an Ojibway Indian, and William H. Hefelfinger, Chief of the first Y-Indian Guide tribe. Inspired by his experiences with Joe Friday, who was his guide on fishing and hunting trips into Canada, Harold Keltner initiated a program of parent-child experiences that now involves a half million children and adults annually in the YMCA.
While Keltner was on a hunting trip in Canada, one evening, Joe Friday, the Indian, said to this white colleague as they sat around a blazing campfire: “The Indian father raises his son. He teaches his son to hunt, to track, to fish, to walk softly and silently in the forest, to know the meaning and purpose of life and all he must know, while the white man allows the mother to raise his son.” These comments struck home, and Harold Keltner arranged for Joe Friday to work with him at the St. Louis YMCA.
The Ojibway Indian spoke before groups of YMCA boys and dads in St. Louis, and Mr. Keltner discovered that fathers, as well as boys, had a keen interest in the traditions and ways of American Indian. At the same time, being greatly influenced by the work of Ernest Thompson Seton, a great lover of the out-of-doors, Harold Keltner conceived the idea of a father and son program based upon the strong qualities of American Indian culture and life-dignity, patience, endurance, spirituality, felling for the earth, and concern for the family. Thus, the Y-Indian Guide program was born a half century ago.