ERIC Number: ED162786
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977
Unlearning "Indian" Stereotypes. A Teaching Unit for Elementary Teachers and Children's Librarians.
Racism and Sexism Resource Center for Educators, New York, NY.
Native people always wear feathers or headdresses; they frequently brandish tomahawks; they live in tipis; the women usually have babies on their backs; the men are fierce and violent; they lurk behind trees; they spend much time dancing on one leg; and their existence is dependent on the proximity of cowboys. They are not men, women and children, but "braves", "squaws", and "papooses". Despite the fact that they have no relation at all to many Native Peoples, these stereotypes commonly appear in children's books to distinguish Native Americans from other people. With distorted, unreal images they degrade Native People and cultures and reinforce and perpetuate racism. This study of some 70 picture books for children ten and under gives specific examples of prevalent stereotypes and how they are reflected in both illustrations and text. The harm of such distortions is discussed and guidelines are listed for illustrators and editors to use in avoiding stereotypes. Some of the classroom activities suggested include role play showing how the Indians repeatedly gave up their land to settlers, and discussions conducted on the wisdom and harmony with nature which underlies many Native American customs. The book concludes with a list of classroom "don'ts" and a section on how stereotypes may be unlearned. (Author/DS)
Descriptors: American Indians, Attitudes, Books, Childhood Attitudes, Childrens Literature, Classroom Techniques, Cultural Images, Elementary Education, Ethnic Stereotypes, Labeling (of Persons), Librarians, Library Role, Racial Factors, Racism, Reading, Sex Bias, Teacher Attitudes, Teacher Education, Teacher Improvement, Teacher Influence, Teacher Role, Teaching Methods, Training, Tribes, Unit Plan
Council on Interracial Books for Children, Inc., 1841 Broadway, New York, New York 10023 ($3.50; for ten or more, $2.50 each)
Publication Type: Guides - General
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Racism and Sexism Resource Center for Educators, New York, NY.
Note: Not available in hard copy due to the Council's preference