American Indian Activities (AIA)
What is AIA?
Our lodge is home to one of the most reknown AIA teams in the country. Our American Indian Activities includes traditional American Indian Drumming and Dancing.
Interested in joining the team?
Get in touch with us!
History of AIA in the Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge
By Katrina Carnes
The sharp percussion of the Caller's rattle, the steady drumbeat, voices rising in song, dancing feet communing with earth, circling the Arbor, these are the stories of peoples who were here before us.
These evocative sounds and sights have been an integral accompaniment to the Aal-Pa-Tah's gatherings throughout the years. Those people who we wish to honor, to show respect, we do this in learning of their cultures and histories, learning and sharing their stories.
In the early days, many of our dancers were also members of the BSA's Explorer program. This program allowed for more freedom in choosing the focus for activities by older boys ages 14 to 20. Eventually, this became the coed program we now know as Venturing.
Since 1942, the Lodge and Council have maintained a friendship with the people of the Brighton Seminole Reservation. We dance as atribute to the sacrifices and contributions made by the Native Americans in the founding and preserving our great State and Nation
For many years the Hitchiti Dancers of Aal-Pa-Tah Lodge #237 / Venture Crew #2157 and Gulf Stream Council have received the complete cooperation of the Seminole Nation, and have gained respect of its people by presenting programs, which represent their traditions and culture in the highest possible manner.
"Hitchiti" is a Seminole Indian word and historically was the name of a tribe that was a part of the Creek Confederation of middle Georgia and Alabama. In the early 18th century, these brave people traveled southward through Florida, fleeing persecution and threat of genocide, ultimately triumphant, became the undefeated Seminole Nation of Florida. Currenly, the word "Hitchati" is used by the Seminole people as the name of their spoken language.
The Hitchiti Dancers / Venture Crew #2157 was chartered in 1972. These dedicated arrowmen and crew members have endeavored over the past 45 years to diversify the scouting program and goster a greater understanding of Native Americanculture for scouts and the community at large. This service has been provided through upwards of 80 preformances per year. Through the years, Hitchiti has attended numerous Scouting events, including: Blue and Gold, Arrow of Light, Crossovers, Eagle Court of Honors, Scout Shows, and other large events. Performances at the Archdiocese of Miami, community festivals, libraries, schools, colleges and universities, Mar a Lago, The Breakers, environmental events, and Veterans' Memorials.
Hitchiti has had the honor of performing at South Florida Fair for over 25 years. They marched in the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. They were honored to participate in a performance of "Unto These Hills" as guests of the Cherokee Nation in Cherokee, North Carolina. Hitchiti members have consistently attended 4 or more public Pow Wows per year.
Our dancers and singers have attended and competed at every Section Conference and National Order of the Arrow Conference (NOAC) and have distinguished the Lodge by achieveing many of the highest honors at those events.
How rich is the legacy for our Lodge, our Council, our Community, and our Brotherhood? So blessed are we to learn and serve, to teach and preserve these traditions with reverence, to honor those people who entered the circle, who touched the earth in fellowship and who loved this land before we did...