Coup Point Tally Guide

The coup system is designed to improve participation and fellowship in tribes and generate a sharing between tribes.

What is “Coup”?

This term is of deep-rooted Indian origin:
Regardless of where or how an Indian brave accumulated feathers, he was not allowed, according to tribal law to wear them until he won them by a brave deed. He had to appear before the tribal council and tell or re-enact his exploit. Witnesses were examined and if in the eyes of the of the council the deed was thought to be worthy, the brave was then authorized to wear the feather(s) in his hair or war bonnet. These honors were called counting coup (pronounced “coo”). Deeds of exceptional valor (such as to touch an enemy in battle without killing him and escape) were called grand coup and were rated more than one feather. An Indian would rather part with his horse, his tepee or his wife than to lose his feathers; for to do so would mean dishonor in the eyes of his tribe.

In our program, coup is awarded in the form of “points.” These points are usually earned by the tribe as a whole, but in some cases individual members may accrue points for their tribe. All coup is awarded to a tribe based on submission of Tribe Council Reports (sent to Nation or Federation Tallykeeper by Tribe Tallykeeper).

A tribe cannot claim coup for the same function under two separate activities. (Activities are listed on the following page.)

For any tribe to receive “coup,” the Tribe Tallykeeper must submit a Tribe Council Report within 30 days of the event being reported.

Coup Point Assessment

Activity #1: Write an article for the Smoke Signals – 15 points for articles submitted during summer months and 5 points for articles submitted during the program year.
Activity #2: Tribe meeting – 10 points for 80% attendance; 5 points for 50-80%.
Activity #3: Joint Tribe Meeting – 15 points for 80% attendance; 10 points for 50-80%. (Points not awarded for more than one meeting with same tribe.)
Activity #4: Tribe Outing – 15 points for 80% attendance; 10 points for 50-80%. (Tribe outings are special events held at times other than regular meeting nights – such as campouts, canoe trips, hikes, picnics, ball games, etc.)
Activity #5: Joint Tribe Outing – 25 points for 80%; 15 points for 50-80%. (This includes “OWB” functions.)
Activity #6: Federation or Nation function – 30 points for 80%; 15 points for being represented by two or more families. (These functions include Longhouses or camp-outs, Kite-flying contest, Buffalo Feast, etc.)
Activity #7: Chief’s Meetings (Nation or Federation) – 5 points for Tribe Chief or representative attending. (Meetings are open to all members. NO additional points given for extra members attending.)
Activity #8: Tribe Service Projects – (Community service to church, school, etc.) Must have at least 50% tribe participation to earn 20 points; must also have a letter of appreciation from organization served.

Only existing tribes are given coup for the following activities:

Activity #9: Organizing New Tribes
  • 5 points per tribe for attending recruiting seminar
  • 15 points per Big Brave visiting school classrooms (maximum 30 points per tribe)
  • 15 points per Father attending “Organizational Night.” (maximum 30 points per tribe)
  • 15 points for every new tribe meeting attended by the Tribe Organizer.
Activity #10: Visiting New Tribes
  • 5 points per each visit of New Tribe by Tribe organizer/sponse. (maximum of 15 points per each New Tribe)

NOTE: New tribe members sometimes get involved in recruiting for their own tribe and this is greatly appreciated. However, at this time, only organizing tribes other than your own is recognized for coup.

Tribe Tallykeepers:
It is important to note that the numerical sequence of Activities listed to the left correspond to the sequence of Activities on the Tribe Council Report. This should make it much easier to submit accurate reports.

Tribe Service Projects

“Service Projects” turn out to be more fun than Tribe Outings because they provide a sense of “special accomplishment” for doing something for others as well as having fun with your child (as in Tribe Outings). The term “Service Projects” sounds ominous but are really quite simple, easy to do and more apparent than you might think. Listed below are some examples of rewarding adventures.

  • Picking up school grounds
  • Collecting canned goods for food shelters/banks
  • Painting church
  • Cleaning school bleachers
  • Church car wash
  • Christmas caroling at a nursing home

Participation in Service Projects mean a great deal to your Tribe as well as to the organization being served. They are fun, easy to do, and self-satisfying. It is this true meaning of sharing that the program emphasizes. So, when your Tribe does a service project, tell others about it; send in a Tribe Council Report to your Federation Tallykeeper. These Service Projects are important to remember for your Tribe, so be sure to get a letter of appreciation from the organization you are service; this is a great item for you Tribe Tallybook, and it is recognized by the Order of the White Buffalo.