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Our History

Changes in Terminology

Order of the Arrow Changes Terminology. The Grand Lodge Becomes Grand Tribe

As part of the agreement made by the OA National Executive Committee with the BSA to become an official part of the Boy Scout program the OA agreed to change certain terminology effective January 1, 1935 (although not disseminated to local lodges until April 23, 1935).

The BSA was concerned about heavy reliance on Masonic fraternal terms in the Order. So the term “lodge” which is what Masons call their local groupings was replaced with the word “tribe”. Instead of Unami Lodge and Owasippe Lodge, they became Unami Tribe and Owasippe Tribe. Likewise the Masons use of the term “Grand” to describe their highest governing body was changed to “National”. Thus the OA’s Grand Lodge would become known as the National Tribe and the Grand Chieftain would become known as the National Chieftain. Similarly, the term “Degree” became “Honor” and the term “Password” became “Admonition”. The term “Manitou” referring to a deity was completely eliminated from ceremonies, this being done to satisfy religious groups concerns.