July 25, 2018

Honoring a new bloodline leader

New chief named,
process explained
While mourning the passing of Arikara Chief Robert (Bobby) Bear, the people of White Shield are welcoming his successor.
Richard White Bear was announced as the new bloodline chief at the Arikara Celebration July 14.
Bobby Bear was selected as bloodline chief in 1965 after his father passed away. Bear died May 30, leaving the position until White Bear was named.
In hopes of keeping tradition and culture alive, Tribal Councilman and White Shield Representative of the MHA Nation Fred Fox said the closed ceremony for choosing a new chief followed traditions set by Elders long ago.
“The chief has been passed down by hereditary on the father’s side. Bear’s dad was the chief before that and his father before him,” Fox said. “It has been a hereditary line all the way back to Son of the Star.”
Along with the patrilinial section of a chief, traditions were to be followed during the selection ceremony.
According to Dancing Eagle, historian at the White Shield Cultural Center, the Arikara has a number of societies, bundle carriers being one of them. He said bundle carriers, along with elders, sub chiefs and warriors were traditionally essential to the selection of a new chief.

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