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Ask the Chairman - Ceremonies

October 13, 2013     Ask the Chairman

Q. Mr. Chairman,

I am writing this email in regards to national policy on ceremonies. What is national policy regarding face paint?



A. Hi Jason,

Your question is discussed in the Guide to Inductions (GTI) and the Guide for Officers and Advisers (GOA). These publications have a number of resources that can help your lodge with the inductions process and contain guidance for lodge leadership and national policy on topics like face paint.

There is a section on Page 31 of GTI and Page 28 of GOA that discusses face paint. Face paint should only be used by a lodge if it's been determined that it is not offensive to the tribes in your council area. It's not allowed at section and national events. Here's the policy from GTI:

Face Paint
The use of face paint, body paint, and wigs by non-American Indians could be offensive to some groups of American Indian people. Where lodge activities related to ceremony or dance are offensive to local American Indians they must be discontinued by Order of the Arrow members. Appropriate local use is to be interpreted by each lodge based on its relationship with American Indian tribes in the council area. National Order of the Arrow conferences, conclaves and other events conducted beyond the individual lodge will not permit face paint, body paint, or wigs to be used in social or competition dancing or in ceremonies or ceremony team evaluations.

Yours in Service,