(03/24/2002)
Political correctness prevails at the WVU Extension Service and 4-H programs around West Virginia. After 80 years the "Indians" have been removed from 4-H rituals and traditions, based on complaints by Native American groups.

4-H camps throughout the organizations history have centered on the creation of Seneca, Delaware, Mingo and Cherokee tribes, and numerous "indian like" rituals around campfires.

Larry Cote, Associate Provost for Extension Services, says "Our program and the Native American customs we have used are well-intended and well-meaning," but they are found offensive to that group.

A review team looked at West Virginia's practices, and found them to be in violation of "sacred ceremonies," and a decision was announced last week to change the operation to being politically correct.

Tribal names, yells, songs and dress will be replaced, according to Cote. "In our 4-H program we are about teaching young people character and respect," he said.


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