The Very First Americans by Cara Ashrose, with illustrations by Bryna Waldman, is one example. Here's the cover. As you see, I've put a large red x over the cover to let you know, visually, that I do not recommend the book:
So: what is wrong with the phrase "First Americans"?
The Native peoples of this continent were not "Americans". They were--and are--organized societies who chose/choose their leaders and who engaged in trade with other Native Nations.
See? We were nations before the United States of America was a nation. Our nations decided who its citizens were, and, we still do that.
The other problem with this book? The use of past tense verbs, as shown in these two sentences from the book:
Tribes like the Chinook, the Makah, and the Salish made their homes near the water along the northwest coast of America.and
The Makah were very good whale hunters.Aimed at pre-school and elementary aged children, The Very First Americans was published in 1993 by Grosset & Dunlap. You can still get a new copy which probably means, unfortunately, that it is still in print.
Divided into several geographic locations, the book provides an overview of several nations, but the language is all past tense.
And then, on the final page, the author opens with present tense, saying that
Today, almost two million American Indians make their homes in this country. More than a third live on reservations. The rest live in cities and towns. Many Indians say they "walk in two worlds."But her final sentence goes back to that error, calling Native peoples "first Americans":
They are part of today's America, but at the same time, they keep the ways of their people--the very first Americans.I wish that I had a nonfiction book, in-hand, to recommend for young children... A book that would give them accurate information. The only one that comes to mind is Simon Ortiz's The People Shall Continue, but it is out of print. You can get a used copy online. Find one, get it, and use it instead of ones that use "First Americans" in them. You can also choose picture books like Cynthia Leitich Smith's Jingle Dancer, that provide children information that is accurate. In it, a young girl is learning to do a dance. Through the author's note, Smith tells us that the girl is a member (citizen) of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation.