During 2020 and continuing into 2021, throughout the American Indian community, annual traditional powwows and gatherings as well as the dancing and singing competitions associated with powwows were cancelled out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the participants and those in attendance. Out of respect for our First Nations brothers and sisters, and the safety of our fellow Scouts, we strongly suggest that the 2021 conclaves become a season of learning and preparation for AIA activities consistent with the following guidelines:
- Individual Dance Competition: If the area for individual dance competition is large enough to follow the most recent CDC guidelines (proper spacing, masks, etc), there are no singers (use of recorded music is acceptable), and the host lodge Scout Executive has approved the activity, competitions can be held. Conclave leaders must be vigilant in enforcing applicable guidelines given that, whether indoors or out, dancers can come in close proximity to each other making the chance of transmission higher.
- Singing Competition: Because of the proximity of singers around the drum, there is a high probability of transmission of virus among singers. Therefore, singing competition is not authorized during the 2021 conclaves.
- Group Dance Competitions: We recommend that group dance competitions not be conducted during 2021 conclaves. The potential spread of the virus and its associated risks outweigh the need to have such competitions.
Below are some recommended alternatives to consider for AIA programming during the 2021 conclave season:
Dance clothes how to’s: Conduct sessions to assist new dancers make the proper items for dancing.
Dance clothes critiques: If you have access to judges in your conclave area, dancers can be provided dance clothes feedback from those judges to prepare for the NOAC 2022 Competitions. There is dance clothes coaching information found on the OA website as part of the Field Operations Guide (FOG, version 2021, https://oa-bsa.org/resources/publications#fog). The new documents cover the historical clothing used at NOAC competitions and it also includes ladies dance clothes.
Dance style introduction. Basic introduction to dance styles with singing recordings.
Craft competitions: Arrowmen can submit video of their craft work with details regarding the construction and purpose of their craft.
Adult Information: Zoom call (or session) for adults to understand the value and role the AIA program can play in their lodges (i.e., retention, DEI, understanding of another culture, social activities, sparking interest in later academic endeavors etc.)
Online craft projects: Host online simple craft projects (chockers, feather straightening, beadwork 101, proper storing of a roach, etc.). Preplanning is required along with the use of innovative instructors.
AIA patch design competition: Lodges can submit one culturally appropriate approved design and the section winners could be submitted and considered for recognition at the next NOAC 2022 AIA gathering.