When a new BPSA Scout Group registers for a charter, it has to have a name. The name of the group must somehow be reflective of the community in which the group scouts, whether it’s a geological feature, flora or fauna indigenous to the area, a historical event, etc. We chose to name ourselves in honor of our community’s original scouts. Before registering the name, we contacted the Tonkawa Tribal Council at their reservation in northern Oklahoma. We explained who we are, outlined our goals as an organization and introduced them to BPSA. We asked for their permission to use the name “Tonkawa” to represent our organization as they were among the most prevalent of the native tribes in our immediate region. The tribe had served as “scouts” for Texican settlers and the US Army when they arrived in the area. The Tribal Council approved our request to use the name following their investigating BPSA and careful consideration. They also sent us wonderful items such as their flags, Tribal history and language books and CDs so that we might get to know them better. We look forward to working closely with the tribe in order to help preserve their heritage and teach our 183rd Tonkawans about our namesake. The blessing of the Tonkawa Tribal Council is something we greatly respect, and we plan to work hard to make the Tonkawa Tribe proud.
In June 2018, several of our group traveled to Tonkawa, Oklahoma, to attend the 44th Annual Tonkawa Tribal Pow-wow. We were able to meet members of the tribe, and witness the beautiful dancing and music. We look forward to attending again, next year.
For more information regarding the Tonkawa Tribe, please visit their website at http://www.tonkawatribe.com/