Monday, November 10, 2008

"Living Stories" at Oyate

New at the Oyate website is a page full of stories written by Native people. Stories worth reading--especially this month--because they speak to the need to teach children that we're very much part of today's society. Books often taught in schools are hurtful. In these stories, for example...

One parent writes about The Courage of Sarah Noble, and my daughter writes about reading Caddie Woodlawn.

It's not just books, though...

A child writes about a school reenactment of the Gold Rush, and another writes of feeling invisible in class.

Teachers, librarians, parents! Please read these stories, and think of them when you develop lesson plans and order books. Consider removing older books from your shelves. It is important to study attitudes towards others, but students need accurate information first. Let's provide children with books that accurately portray American Indians, and let's use those outdated and biased books in social studies or history lessons specifically designed to look at bias.

Oyate is a good source for books and other materials you can use as you set aside books like The Courage of Sarah Noble, or Caddie Woodlawn, or Little House on the Prairie, or Sign of the Beaver...

Critical reviews of those books, plus reviews of outstanding books, are in two excellent volumes, both available at Oyate. A Broken Flute, The Native Experience in Books for Children, and, Through Indian Eyes, The Native Experience in Books for Children.

1 comment:

caribookscoops said...

Oh how I wish I had known about this blog and Oyate while I was teaching. I taught middle school history for 5 years and I always felt woefully inadequate to teach about American Indians. I knew there were problems, but I lacked resources and knowledge of where to go. I will keep your blog in mind for the future and pass it on to other educators I know.

Thanks!