Boy Scouts of America

Indian Lore Merit Badge



The Indian Lore merit badge provides an opportunity for Boy Scouts to learn about the American Indian cultures of North America. To earn this badge, contact a registered counselor for the Indian Lore merit badge and read the BSA Indian Lore merit badge pamphlet. Information useful for completing requirements of the Indian Lore merit badge can be found on the Illinois State Museum web site. This site has a special module on the history, culture, and archaeology of the Illinois Indians.




1. Give the history of one American Indian tribe, group, or nation that lives or has lived near you. Visit it, if possible. Tell about traditional dwellings, way of life, tribal government, religious beliefs, family and clan relationships, language, clothing styles, arts and crafts, food preparation, means of getting around, games, customs in warfare, where members of the group now live, and how they live.








Way of life:







Religious beliefs:






Family and clan relationships:




Clothing styles:


Arts and crafts:





Food preparation:




Means of getting around:







Customs in warfare:


Where members of the group now live and how they live:



2. Do TWO of the following. Focus on a specific group or tribe.

a.       Make an item of clothing worn by members of the tribe.

b.      Make and decorate three items approved by your counselor used by the tribe.

c.       Make an authentic model of a dwelling used by any Indian tribe, group, or nation.

d.      Visit a museum to see Indian artifacts. Discuss them with your counselor. Identify at least 10 artifacts by tribe or nation, their shape, size, and use.


3. Do ONE of the following:

a.       Learn three games played by a group or tribe. Teach and lead one game with a Scout group.

b.      Learn and show how a tribe traditionally cooked or prepared food. Make three food items.

c.       Give a demonstration showing how a specific Indian group traditionally hunted, fished, or trapped.


4. Do ONE of the following:

a.       Write or briefly describe how life might have been different for the European settlers if there had been no native Americans to meet them when they came to this continent.

b.      Sing two songs in an Indian language. Explain their meanings.

c.       Learn in an Indian language at least 25 common terms and their meanings.

d.      Show 25 signs in Indian sign language. Include those that will help you ask for water, food, and where the path or road leads.

e.       Learn in English (or the language you commonly speak at home or in the troop) an Indian story of at least 300 words, or any number of shorter stories adding up to 300 words. Tell the story or stories at a Scout meeting or campfire.

f.        Write or tell about eight things adopted by others from American Indians.

g.       Learn 25 Indian place names. Tell their origins and meanings.

h.       Name five well-known American Indian leaders, either from the past or people of today. Give their tribes or nations. Describe what they did or do now that makes them notable.

i.         Learn about the Iroquois Confederacy, including how and why it was formed. Tell about its governing system, and its importance to the framers of the Constitution of the United States.


Source: Boy Scout Requirements 2004. Boy Scouts of America, Irving, Texas.