This post is a follow-up to “Calling out Myself,” where I introduce the Indian Princesses and other prevalent stereotypes of American Indians. This post goes into more of the history and controversy that led to the YMCA changing the name of the program. The first post can be read here.
Like many “progressive” movements of the early 20th century, from 1926 to 2002, the Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) sponsored a program of fake American Indian ceremony to promote Americanism and channel the boundless energy of young boys into respect for nature and authority. Y-Indian Princesses and Guides quickly grew away from Native spirituality, replacing it with stereotypes such as war whoops and beaded fringe.