Who Would You Select for the Position of Tribal Royalty?
Suggested Cultural Connections

Words to know
grand entryThe first song/dance presenting all dancers
in traditional clothing
honorSomeone’s good reputation and the respect
that others have for that person
pow-wowA traditional Native social meeting for
dancing, drumming, and singing
traditionThe handing down of customs, ideas,
and beliefs from one generation to the next
tribal royaltyAn elected representative of a
Native American tribe that is recognized at pow-wows
valuesbeliefs or ideas of what is most important in their life

The scenario for the committee meeting would be described like this:
Every year on reservations, a man and a woman or a boy and a girl are chosen for tribal royalty. Royalty is chosen based on the following values outlined in the “Seven Grandfathers” (The Good Path, Peacock, 2002):
  1. Honor the Creator
  2. Honor elders, plants, and animal beings
  3. Honor women
  4. Be peaceful and kind even to those with whom we disagree
  5. Be moderate in our thoughts, words, and deeds
  6. Be courageous
  7. Keep our promises
These values are called The Good Path or the Seven Grandfathers.

The selection committee should evaluate the following
candidates based on the values of “The Good Path.”

Group 1 – Selection Committee
Your group should do the following:
•  Read the description of each candidate.
•  Prepare several questions to ask each candidate when he or she comes before the committee
•  You might have them explain some details given in their description.
•  You might ask how he or she would handle situations that might come up as royalty, like being asked to lead dance at various pow-wows.

The following groups are all candidates for royalty.

Group 2 – “Okeyma” Blackburn
Mr. Blackburn is forty years old and owns a sporting goods store in the local
town, but has lived on the reservation all of his life. A portion of the
profits from his business are donated to the nursing home located on the
reservation. He and his wife have three children that attend the tribal school
and he attends local pow-wows regularly. He has run for the Tribal Board, but did not win the election.

Group 3 – Utina Yellow
Ms. Yellow is a twenty six-year-old teacher at the Tribal School. She is fluent
in her native language and holds a weekly sewing circle meeting at the tribal
center that is attended by several tribal members. She holds her master’s degree from a university in a neighboring state and has recently returned to
the reservation after being gone for the last seven years. She is not married
and has no children, but helps raise her nieces and nephews.

Group 4 – Raina Morris
Ms. Morris is twelve years old and attends public school off the reservation. She travels to different pow-wows around the area with her family and has won several dance awards. She wants to grow up and run for the
Tribal Council, but her grades and attention at school have had demerits.

Group 5 – Austin Feather
Austin Feather is seventeen years old and attends the Tribal school. He is a gifted athlete and is on many sports teams. He is the class president and has served on the student council as a student mediator for three years. He lives with his grandmother who is a traditional woman who speaks in her native tongue only. Austin has a very busy sports schedule and often has conflicts with other obligations.

Group 6 – “Sarge” Horseman
Mr. Horseman is a thirty eight-year-old decorated veteran from the Persian Gulf War. He is not married, but raises his teenage daughter on his own. He is a machinist at Timer Services, a local lumber plant. He is a traditional dancer and sings with a traveling drum group. “Sarge” did not graduate from high school, but hopes to earn his G.E.D. this summer.

Group 7 – Margaret Rose
Ms. Rose is a sixteen-year-old shawl dancer and attends a day school supported by her church. She lives with her mom and dad on the reservation and volunteers at the nursing home in town. She has been on the honor roll every quarter for the last three years. She is considered to be extremely shy by her friends.