About Us

Welcome to the Mighty Chickasaw Nation Indian Princesses of the Algonquin Longhouse

The Indian Princesses Program of the Algonquin Longhouse offers an unique program focused on the magic of the Native American theme that encourages and promotes the value of a strong Father & Daughter(s) (K-5) relationship through fun and exciting activities.  We are over 2,500 members strong in the Northwest Chicago suburbs of Illinois area, our roots go back 80 years!

 Indian Princesses Program Benefits
Build great memories to last TWO lifetimes
Our children form new friendships
Parents build new friendships through networking
The program teaches team work and morals
Nature and the native American culture is learned
Enjoy: Camping, camp fires, canoeing, exploring, sledding, rock climbing, games and crafts

How is our Indian Princesses program unique?
Affordable: Only pay for events you can participate in.
Flexible:  Both parent and child can fit most of the events in.
Enjoyable:  Both parent and child are involved and have bonding experiences

HISTORY OF INDIAN PRINCESS PROGRAMS

In the Beginning…“The Indian father raises his son. He teaches his son to hunt, to track, to fish, to walk softly and silently in the forest, to know the meaning and purpose of life and all that he must know, while the white man allows the mother to raise his son.”  These chance remarks made in the early 1920s by Ojibway Indian hunting guide Joe Friday to Harold Keltner, a St. Louis YMCA director, struck a responsive chord.

Closing the Gap
In 1925 Keltner arranged for Friday to speak before boys and dads in the St. Louis area.  One evening after a talk given at a father and son banquet, Friday was so closely surrounded by fathers that the boys could not get near him.  This gave Keltner an idea.  Perhaps this strong mutual interest in the Indian could be put at the heart of a program aimed at closing the gap that he had seen widening between American fathers and their sons.

American Indian Culture and Life
Keltner designed a father-son program based on the qualities of American Indian culture and life:  Dignity, Patience, Endurance, Spirituality, Feeling for the earth, and Concern for the family.   From this, Y-Indian Guide programs were born.

Rapid Growth After WWII
In 1926, Keltner organized the first tribe of Y-Indian Guides in Richmond Heights, MO., with the help of Friday and William Hefelfinger, chief of that first tribe.  Although it grew slowly at first, the program was eventually recognized as a national YMCA program in 1935.  The popularity of Y-Indian Guides grew rapidly in the post-World War II period of 1942 to 1962, guided by John Ledie, national advisor.  Many new programs and organizational developments at the local and national levels also evolved during this time.

The Y-Indian Princess program is born
The rise of the family YMCA following World War II, the genuine need for supporting little girls in their personal growth, and the demonstrated success of the father-son program in turn nurtured the development of parent-daughter groups.  The mother-daughter program, now called Indian Maidens, was established in South Bend, IN, in 1951.  Three years later father-daughter groups, which were called Y-Indian Princesses, originated in the Fresno, CA, YMCA.  Y-Indian Braves, a program for mothers and sons, emerged during the late 1970s and was officially recognized by the National Executive Committee of the National Longhouse at Dearborn, MI, in 1980.Since 1963, the swift expansion of the program has continued with all these programs, and with a corresponding group of programs for older children.  At some point, about 900 YMCAs sponsored 30,000 Y-Indian Guide groups.

2003: A New Beginning
In 2002 and 2003, things changed for the Algonquin Federation and our Chickasaw Nation. While the local Nations and Tribes (and kids!) were having a good time and learning, the central Y management had plans to dramatically change the program. Meetings and surveys ensued to figure out the future of the program.  By the end of the 2002 program year (June 2003), the members of the Algonquin Federation voted to separate from the Y.  Grand plans were made and the Algonquin Longhouse, Inc. was formed.

The Chickasaw Nation is proud to be part of the Algonquin Longhouse to further teach our children the qualities of Indian culture that Harold Keltner envisioned over 80 years ago.