4. Investiture, Initiation, and Honours

Seton Society members will be formally invested into the group after one month of diligent attendance. The first camp must be attended, and a 15 hour solo must be completed.

The solo should be an overnight, beginning at about 5 pm and ending the following morning. The soloist can take clothing with them, but can only take a sleeping bag if the temperature is supposed to drop blow freezing. They may take their knife and their journal, but no books and no watch. They are only to have two strike anywhere matches with which to start a fire. One brief check is done late in the evening to insure the safety of the soloists. (They should always be situated close enough to the main camp that a yell can be easily heard.)

The investiture ceremony is the creation of a medicine circle bond through a pipe ceremony. In the talk at the end of the pipe ceremony the leader should emphasize the mutual respect, trust and privacy of the group, and that they are now subject to a special bond.

New members are also presented with a leather necklace and the red bead of the first lodge. They can also be given a name by with they will be known in the group.


Co-operation is the means by which a group learns skills. competition is the means by which skills are consolidated and tested. Co-operation always supersedes competition, and competition is always done in the spirit of friendship and understanding.

A "coup" is to strike a blow or claim a victory. In the Seton Society, it can be accomplished through leaning a skill or completing a challenge or experience. It is mostly a victory over one's own limitations or over a particular challenge, but it can also be a victory over others in a game or sport.

Coup points can be earned for attendance, solos, successfully demonstrated skills, and completion of challenging experiences. These points are kept by the secretary of the group in a ledger.

The first degree, or red bead, is presented upon investiture. To receive the second degree, or yellow bead for the bracelet, the requirement is 15 coup points, which must include starting a bow drill fire, sleeping in a debris shelter, and completing a challenge hike, among other things.

The third degree, or black bead, requires 30 coup points, and requires a knowledge of clear print tracks, 2 traps, experience sleeping in a snow shelter and knowledge of the Medicine Wheel and Sweat Lodge. The completion of one craft is also required, plus several other things.

The forth degree, or white bead, requires 50 coup, several other specific survival skills and completion of a 36 survival solo. Not all members will achieve the white bead. It should be considered the rank of a tested expert and should carry with it a sense of prestige. The white bead represents the North. It is the ending of this current cycle on the Medicine Wheel, and the beginning of the next cycle, which involves sharing and consolidating the skills.

See the list on the next page for specific skills, coup points and program outline.


There are two aspects of this program, like a yin and yang. The active side is the survival instruction. The other side is the ceremony and the "medicine" part of the program. It has been my experience that each part of the program will appeal differently to different young people. The best situation is a balance between the two, with the basics in Native tradition and philosophy being presented. The deeper traditions and more specific meditations are reserved for those who may be more inclined and interested. This information is presented at specific camps and outings which are optional to the central program.

Participating in any two such optional programs qualifies the member for enrollment in the Blue Sky Medicine Society. This Society will have some separate events in addition to the main program.


The requirement of this society is participation in a prolonged group trip, at least 21 consecutive days in duration. Assistance with planning, and defined duties on the trip must also be carried out.

Members must also have a yellow bead (degree three) to be eligible for membership in this society.