Sunday, April 29, 2007

Queen Elizabeth, American Indians, and Comments from Abroad

In the April 29th edition of the UK's Sunday Times is an article titled "Queen flies into PC war over fate of American Indians." The Queen is flying to Virginia to take part in a commemoration to mark the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Jamestown. The lives of American Indians and Africans are part of the story of Jamestown. Hence, the use of "commemorate" rather than "celebrate."

Note also, that it is cast as "PC" by the reporter, Sarah Baxter. Some may view it as PC; I view it as a significant effort to be honest, to be thoughtful about that period of history.

How do children's books, fiction and non-fiction, talk about Jamestown?

What about lesson plans? Documentaries? Feature films?

The article says the Queen is being asked to apologize "for the slaughter of American Indians and the introduction of slavery..." Comments ask about apologies from the US government. The comments thus far (ten as I write) generally say "get over it" and remind me of my interest in knowing how children's books in other nations portray American Indians.

Read the article (I don't know how long it'll be available on line; many papers charge for articles after a few days). It provides much to think about.

1 comment:

Lisa said...

The Mattaponi have presented Pocahontas's story in print, see here. I've read only about half, but I would say it would be suitable for 8th or 9th grade and up.