(07/05/2002)
West Virginia 4-H members, past and present, who may have been comforted by the WVU Extension Services change of heart about eliminating native American symbols from 4-H rituals, might want to think again.

The extension service appointed a panel to study the matter, postponing the agencies decision to drop such rituals.

Virginia officials have made a decision to discontinue their use, anticipating a decision of the U. S. Department of Agriculture after a single complaint was filed in West Virginia.

The case appears to center on a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, regarding racist themes against American Natives.

The system has switched from "indigenous people to indigenous animals."

Tribal names have been changed to Eagles, Snakes, Deer, Bobcats and Owls.

Pow-wows are now called cave meetings.

Spirit sticks are now spirit flags.

The campfire, long called the "Sacred Light" is now called the "Great Light."

The "Big Chief" is now called the "Great Bear," who may be from the "Deer Pack."

The elimination of the word "tribe" is an obvious overreaction to becoming politically correct.

West Virginia 4-H Alumni threatened to bring a lawsuit over the changes, some suggesting Native Americans are not really upset about the 4-H program.

The USDA funds the WVU Extension Service with $4.5 million a year to administer the program.

Want to know more?

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Themes

Indian names at 4-H Club backed

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Ending Indian themes is urged

Ending

Virginia 4-H yields

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