By Maloree Anderson
Nov 08, 2018

Celebrate Native American Heritage Month

November is Native American Indian Heritage Month and in honor of the many fascinating Native American cultures, we want to highlight the Indian Lore Merit Badge. The Indian Lore Merit Badge gives Scouts an opportunity to discover the traditions, history, and customs of American Indians. The purpose of the merit badge is not to be like Native Americans but to gain a better understanding of their art, ceremonies, stories, and lifestyles. Every Scout should consider earning this badge and paying their respects to the Native cultures that can be found in and around their communities.

Requirement #1

The first requirement of the Indian Lore Merit Badge is to identify the different American Indian cultural areas. Explain what makes them each unique. In Utah, Scouts can study about the Paiute, Shoshone, Ute, and many more tribes. There is an abundance of Native American tribes in these western states, making this requirement smooth and straightforward.

Requirement #2

The next part of the merit badge requires a Scout to give the history of one American Indian tribe, group, or nation that lives or has lived near them. Scouts will dig deep in the rich culture by analyzing tribal government, language, dwellings, religious beliefs, and so on. This requirement allows a Scout to expand their minds to recognize different cultures around them and above all learn more about them.

Requirement #3

In the third requirement, Scouts must choose two of the four suggestions. Focusing on a specific group or tribe, they can:

  • Make an item of clothing worn by members of the tribe.
  • Construct and decorate three items used by the tribe, as approved by their counselor.
  • Build an authentic model of a dwelling used by an Indian tribe, group, or nation.
  • Visit a museum to see Indian artifacts. Discuss them with their counselor. Identify at least 10 artifacts by tribe or nation, their shape, size, and use.

Photo Credit: AustralianCamera /

Requirement #4

And the last requirement: a Scout will pick to learn about games played, traditional cooking, or demonstrating how Native Americans hunted, fished, or trapped. Exploring Native American traditions will encourage Scouts to treasure the heritage and similarly dig deeper into the history.

Once again, the Indian Lore Merit Badge is an excellent way to honor Native American Heritage Month. Scouts will gain a better appreciation of American Indians as well as respect the culture and traditions.

How will your Scouting troop honor our country’s Native Americans this month?

Author: Maloree Anderson | is a photographer, graphic designer, mom of one, friend of Scouting and Marketing Specialist with the Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America.
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