National Indian Seminar Cancelled

Second Scheduled National Indian Seminar Cancelled

Due to the tremendous success of the first National Indian Seminar held at Philmont Scout Ranch in 1974, the idea of holding another similar event was being discussed even before the first one concluded. With the untimely death of Maury Clancy late in 1974, longtime Arrowman Don Thom became the driving force behind all OA national Indian events from 1975 well into the 1990s. Don was appointed to the National OA Committee in July of 1974, and soon afterward was named Lead Adviser of Indian Events. He attended the National Planning Meeting for the 1975 National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) at Schiff Scout Reservation in December of 1974, and it was at this meeting that plans were developed for the second National Indian Seminar. Once plans were finalized, the National OA Committee announced at the 60th Anniversary NOAC that the OA would sponsor a second National Indian Seminar during the summer of 1976. The event was scheduled for July 15-27, 1976 at Camp Tallchief on the John Zink Scout Ranch located near Skiatook, Oklahoma.

The purpose for a second National Indian Seminar was to continue to provide support to the Order of the Arrow’s nationwide emphasis on American Indian culture and crafts, and to aid Arrowmen in studying the many histories and traditions of Native Americans. The hope was that the knowledge gained by the delegates would help to improve the quality and authenticity of the Order of the Arrow’s Indian program.

To increase nationwide participation, section chiefs were able to nominate three delegates to represent their section at the two-week seminar. In addition to gaining lodge, council, and section approval to attend the event, delegates were required to have some basic knowledge and understanding of Indian culture, be OA members in good standing and be between the ages of 14 and 18. The announced cost of the seminar was to be $150.00 per participant.

However, despite all of the great planning and nationwide advertising of the second seminar, the event received only a few advanced registrations by the deadline date and was cancelled due to insufficient participation. Much speculation arose as to why interest in the proposed event was so low. It was determined that re-conceptualizing the seminar to accommodate it to a different location and to a different set of objectives, such as making it bigger and more accessible to participants would prove more successful.

The cancellation of the second National Indian Seminar gave the planners more time to develop an even better event two years later in 1978.