Dads and Kids Making Lifelong Memories

About Us

Bear Creek Federation is one of the largest parent-child programs in North Texas.  Our programs have been developed to educate children and their parents on the traditions and heritage of the Native American Indian while building strong character, strengthening bonds, and creating lasting memories.

We provide tremendous opportunities for dad to spend one-on-one time with the kids.  Whether it’s hiking, camping, fishing, or simply eating smores around a warm campfire, there is no better opportunity to build lasting memories than through Bear Creek Federation Indian Guides and Princess Programs.

Bear Creek Federation, Inc. is a non-profit, 501 (c)(3), volunteer run, parent-child organization whose mission is to develop responsible, honest, respectful, and caring youth and adults through the promotion of healthy spirit, mind, and body in an open membership association organized to serve its diverse community. To provide a cross-cultural education to children and their fathers in Native American Heritage and Traditions; provide developmental activities to children; and to strengthen the parent – child relationship between children and their fathers.

Contact us at:

Bear Creek Federation, Inc.

P.O. Box 1653

Colleyville, TX 76034

History

The original Indian Guides and Indian Princess Programs sprang from the efforts of Harold Keltner and Joe Friday Joe Fridayin 1927 and guided many generations of fathers and sons and fathers and daughters.

In 2001, the previous sponsoring organization began removing the Native American theme (and all such references) from their programs official literature. On August 1, 2003, the move was made official and the Indian Guides and Indian Princess Programs were replaced by a newly developed program of their own.

Harold Keltner In an effort to remain true to the traditions and heritage of the original programs established by Keltner and Friday, and to continue to honor the Native American theme, on August 13, 2003, the leadership of the Yo-He-Wah Indian Princess Program and the Wichita Nation Indian Guides Program joined together and voted unanimously to combine their resources and establish Bear Creek Federation, Inc.

In 2004, the Trail Mates and the Tatanka Nation joined Bear Creek Federation, Inc. bringing total membership to exceed 2,500 active participants.

Aims

The Aims of the Bear Creek Federation Indian Guides and Indian Princess Programs are based upon the Six Aims of the Ojibway, as related by Joe Friday and Harold Keltner. They are:

  • Purity of Heart (Binideewin) – To be clean in body and pure in heartMollyJones
  • Friendship (Inawendiwin) – For Parents to always be friends with their children and for children to always be friends with their parents.
  • Love My Whole Family (Sagiiwewin endashiian) – To love the sacred circle of my family.
  • Listen With Attention (Nagasotawa) – To be attentive while others speak.
  • Love Thy Neighbor (Sagiiwewin kidj’ anishinabe) – To love my neighbor as myself.
  • Respect Earth (Dabandendamowin akki) – To seek and preserve the beauty of the Great Spirit’s work in the forest, fields and streams.

Name & Logo

The Bear Creek Federation logo is comprised of a black bear standing over a creek inside a Zuni Indian Guides and Princess ProgramsZia symbol on a background of blue water, encircled by a red band containing the words ‘Bear Creek Federation”. The logo brings together elements of our geographic region, Native American heritage and Indian Guides and Indian Princess ideals. The name represents the area where Big Bear Creek and Little Bear Creek join together to frame our region of North Texas. It was at this place (Grapevine, Texas) where Sam Houston signed the treaty with the Native Americans of 1849.

The area was known to have indigenous black bear prior to the 20th century. Little is known of the Indians who inhabited the area before the coming of European explorers in the sixteenth century. Groups thought to have been in the area were the Tonkawas and the Hasinai Caddos. By the late 1700’s the Comanches, Kiowas and Wichita had also moved into the region.

FamilyCO2004The Zia in our logo is from the Zuni Indians. The heart of the Zia is a circle that stands for the sun, the moon, the home, and the perfect friendship. The four lines that radiate in each direction symbolize, respectively, the four seasons (Spring Summer, Winter, Fall) the four directions (North, South, East and West), the four parts of the day (Morning, Noon, Evening and Night) and the four Phases of life (Childhood, Youth, Adulthood and Old Age).

Structure

The Structure of Bear Creek Federation:

Federation

The Federation is the governing body of the Nations and Tribes. Leaders from each Nation are nominated to represent their Nations at the Federation Longhouse. The Federation is responsible for providing general guidance, standardization of programs, policies and procedures, and ensuring the longevity of the program.

 

Nation

The Nation is the governing body of the Tribes. Each Tribe Chief will represent their Tribe at the Nation Longhouse. Each Nation has at least one volunteer Nation Chief and frequently other Nation Officers as well. Nation events are a highlight of our program. All nations go on four overnights each year to nearby camping facilities. In addition, many organize other activities such as skate parties, swim parties, sports outings, pinewood derby’s and more.

 

Tribe

Tribes are the heart of the Indian Guides and Indian Princess Programs. Each participant is placed in a Tribe shortly after registering for the program. Most Tribes are organized by geographic location, and are mixed in school and age. Tribes consist of 10-20 father/child pairs and meet monthly throughout the school year at a time agreed upon by the Tribe members. Each Tribe has an Indian name and volunteer Tribal Chief; sometimes other volunteer officer positions are used as well.
Bear Creek Board of Directors:

Name Position Contact
Todd Samuels Director/President president@bearcreekfederation.org
Justin Barham Director/Vice President vicepresident@bearcreekfederation.org
Brad Harslem Director/Treasurer wampumbearer@bearcreekfederation.org
Joe Eskew Director/Secretary secretary@bearcreekfederation.org
Jay Bacha Director/Immediate Past President jay.bacha@bearcreekfederation.org
Joe Kelsey Director joe.kelsey@bearcreekfederation.org
Chris Whitt Director chris.whitt@bearcreekfederation.org
Ben Stevens Director/Webspinner webspinner@bearcreekfederation.org
Todd Parrish Director/Yo-He-Wah Chief nationchief@dfwindianprincess.org
Chris Lightfoot Director/Wichita Chief nationchief@dfwguides.org
Jason See Director/Tatanka Chief tatankanationchief@bearcreekfederation.org
Tom Menini Director/Caddo Chief chief@allenindianguides.com
Daniel Forbes Director/Eagle Feather dfweaglefeather@gmail.com