|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
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
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
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