Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Indian in the... Dishwasher?!

Though the toy Indians seen in Indian in the Cupboard are not available in the numbers they once were, they still appear in interesting places...

This morning, I was reading Huff Post's "Uncommon Items to Put in the Dishwasher" and item #2 is a plastic toy Indian. Here's a screenshot:

Where, I wonder, did they get it? How and why did they choose it over something else?!

"Books that Shaped America" at the Library of Congress

Recently, I began to see links to a new exhibit at the Library of Congress. Titled "Books That Shaped America," it consists of 91 books.

When I learned of the list, I wondered who selected them and if those individuals had an inclusive view of the peoples of America. I've since learned that the list was developed by "curators and experts from throughout the Library of Congress."

There are some great items on that list, but, there isn't a single title on the "Books that Shaped America" by an American Indian, which makes me wonder about the curators and experts who selected the books. Is there not an American Indian amongst them? Or, perhaps, an expert in American Indian writings?

That list of books should include Vine Deloria Jr.'s bestseller, Custer Died For Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. It led a great many people to think critically about the U.S. government and American Indians. Deloria's ideas shaped a lot of thinkers who were and influential in government policies that shaped and continue to shape America. Custer Died For Your Sins was (and is) very influential in other places, too. It shaped the ways that many American Indian Studies programs at universities are structured, and, it changed the shape of the ways that anthropology departments study American Indians. Deloria's work is so influential that symposiums are named after him.

The overview to the list of Books that Shaped America includes a link to submit a title you think ought to be on a future list. I invite you to use the link, and pick up a copy of the book, too, at your local library or bookstore. If it isn't there, request it.