The Boy Scouts of America have a long history of issues and controversies. Exclusion of gay and trans boys from their community spaces, lobbying against laws expanding the statute of limitations on child abuse, a history of segregation that extends to as recently as 1974- less than fifty years ago- And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
But the Boy Scouts of America, and groups affiliated with it through the Heart of America Council, have one particularly problematic sibling.
The Tribe of Micosay.
The Tribe of Micosay describes itself as thusly on their official website.
The Tribe of Mic-O-Say is the honor camping society of Camp Geiger, Pony Express Council, Boy Scouts of America. Its ceremonies, customs, and traditions are loosely based on the folklore of the American Indian.
By blending the spirit and pride of the American Indian with the ideals and objectives of the Boy Scouts of America, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say endeavors to prolong the Scouting adventure with a historical theme that has held the attention and captured the imagination of boys and men alike for many generations. Its purpose is to reinforce the principles of the Scout Oath and Law and to foster continued participation in Scouting.
That sounds awesome on it’s face, right? Culture sharing between Boy Scouts and the local native population, for the betterment of the Scouts and the community. That sounds so very cool and not at all problematic, right? Let’s look at the rest of the website and see what they- oh.
Oh, oh no.
Oh for fuck’s sake.
Okay, let’s stop for a moment here because I need to explain why this is a problem.
The Boy Scouts of America have a raging history of stealing from Native culture. From art to spiritual practices, the indigenous communities of the United States have been vocal that they need to stop. Micosay is apparently no different.
And their dance teams…
Oh, their dance teams…
See, the Tribe of Micosay scouts have these deeply offensive facsimiles of a powwow, where scouts will perform appropriated versions of traditional sacred Native dances in poorly crafted mockeries of sacred regalia.
This is a huge spit in the face of Native communities. Dances are sacred, they’re vehicles for prayer, grief, celebration, and rites of passage. It’s best expressed by the Legends of America group on the subject-
Dances have always been significant in the lives of Native Americans as both a common amusement and a solemn duty. Many dances played a vital role in religious rituals and other ceremonies; while others were held to guarantee the success of hunts, harvests, giving thanks, and other celebrations.
Commonly, dances were held in a large structure or in an open field around a fire. Movements of the participants illustrated the purpose of the dance — expressing prayer, victory, thanks, mythology, and more. Sometimes a leader was chosen, on others, a specific individual, such as a war leader or medicine man would lead the dance. Many tribes danced only to the sound of a drum and their own voices; while others incorporated bells and rattles. Some dances included solos, while others included songs with a leader and chorus. Participants might include the entire tribe, or would specific to men, women, or families. In addition to public dances, there were also private and semi-public dances for healing, prayer, initiation, storytelling, and courting.
Dance continues to be an important part of Native American culture. The dances are regionally or tribally specific and the singers usually perform in their native languages. Depending upon the dance, sometimes visitors are welcomed; while, at other times, the ceremonies are private.
These ‘powwows’ are a blatant mockery of the traditions of still-living nations and still-living people. I myself am Cherokee, and was claimed in 2020 after years of working to learn about my culture and wanting to connect with that part of my ancestry. My blood quantum doesn’t qualify to register federally, but I am no less native for that.
We are still here. Struggling, fighting for our rights, trying to preserve our histories in the face of genocide still ongoing.
And here these shitheads are, stealing from us and spitting on our traditions.
Last, and most important in my part, is the danger this group poses to minors. And for that, I’m going to be sharing some screenshots from a Reddit thread on the subject.
Scouts forced to wear nothing but underwear and loincloths.Adults in lodges and comfortable beds while campers shit in latrines. Insiders vs Outsiders narratives. Initiations and potential misconduct. These are testimonies from people who have allegedly been there as members or visitors to the site.
And they aren’t the only ones with stories to tell. James Renner recounts being abused with homophobia and threats of death, sworn to secrecy in a hazing ritual, and traumatizing memories of nigh-erotic conduct.
This group needs to be shut down, investigated for potential child abuse, something. Their problems have problems, their issues have issues. If we want to heal as a society, this kind of stuff needs to be addressed in a public setting. There’s petition to end the culture theft that you can sign here, but I doubt the fuckery stops there.
Let’s start having these hard conversations.
Stay safe, stay smart, stay informed, and I hope I’ll see you around.