Showing posts sorted by relevance for query caddie woodlawn. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query caddie woodlawn. Sort by date Show all posts

Sunday, May 06, 2007

The "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN

(See additional material added in days following this post.)


I've been in Norman, Oklahoma the last few days, at a gathering of scholars interested in forming a Native American and Indigenous Studies Association. I think attendance was around 500, with 54 panels over three days. It was an international gathering, with indigenous scholars from many nations and many disciplines present.

In my paper, I talked some about problems with the ways that our traditional stories are retold and marketed to children. I've blogged about that here a few times, and written about it, too. "Proceed with Caution" is my most recent article on that topic. It was published in Language Arts, in January of this year.

I also talked some about historical fiction. Below is an excerpt from my talk about Caddie Woodlawn.

It was an invigorating conference. Next year we'll meet in Athens, Georgia. There is so much being done by Native scholars that would be of tremendous use to writers, editors, reviewers, teachers, librarians, and parents with an interest in American Indian people! It would be well worth your time to read books, articles, fiction, essays by those who organized the conference: Ines Hernandez-Avila, J. Kehaulani Kauanui, Tsianina Lomawaima, Jean O'Brien, Robert Warrior, and Jace Weaver.


With deeper knowledge of American Indians, we all might be able to get books like Caddie Woodlawn off the shelves. They have use for study and discussion of stereotypes and bias, but the misinformation they impart to children must not continue to go unchecked.

____________________


The "scalp belt" in Caddie Woodlawn

When my daughter was in third grade, she was assigned to read a historical fiction novel called Caddie Woodlawn. First published in 1935, it won the most prestigious medal given to children’s books, the Newberry. This award ensures that a book will not go out of print, and that every library in the US will buy it. In the case of Caddie Woodlawn, it has been printed in other languages and made it into a movie. You can visit the Caddie Woodlawn Park near Menomonie Wisconsin, and sign the guest book. In a one year period, thousands of visitors from thirty-seven states and six foreign nations signed that guest book. If you live in that area of Wisconsin, your kids might go to Caddie Woodlawn Elementary School. Kids anywhere can buy and play with the Caddie Woodlawn paper dolls.


Caddie was a real person. Her name was Caddie Woodhouse. She told her granddaughter stories about her childhood. That granddaughter wrote those stories down. Hence, Caddie Woodlawn. The book is set in 1864 in western Wisconsin. On the second page of the book, Caddie and her brothers talk about Indians as they swim and float in the river:


“Do you think the Indians around here would ever get mad and massacre folks like they did up north?” wondered Warren, tying his shirt up in a bundle.

“No, sir,” said Tom, “not these Indians!”

“Not Indian John, anyhow,” said Caddie. She had just unfastened the many troublesome little buttons on the back of her tight-waisted dress. “No, not Indian John!” she repeated decidedly… “Even if he does have a scalp belt,” she added. The thought of the scalp belt always made her hair prickle…”


Caddie and her brothers come ashore at an Indian camp and quietly watch them work on a canoe. The text reads “Even friendly Indians commanded fear and respect in those days.” The Indians are fascinated with this particular family because unlike other whites they’ve seen, these ones have hair that is “the color of flame and sunset.”


Caddie is a tom-boy, and people ask her mother when she is going to make “a young lady out of this wild Indian.” Over and over, Indians visit Caddie’s family, hungry. Caddie’s mother, “frightened nearly out of her wits” feeds them bread and beans. According to the concordance at the Amazon website, “Indian” and “scalp” are among the 100 most frequently used words in the book, which is over 250 pages in length.


While the word scalp occurs frequently in any book like this, its context here is worth a closer look. Caddie is a friend of the Indians. Most of the townspeople are not. Fearing a “massacree” a group plans to go to Indian John’s camp and kill all the Indians there. The climax of the book is that Caddie sneaks out and rides a horse over a frozen river to warn Indian John. They decide they have to leave, but before they go, Indian John asks Caddie to keep his “scalp belt.” The scalp belt was his father’s. The scalps on it are from Indians his father killed. Caddie accepts the gift. She and her brothers decide to have a scalp belt show to show it off to their friends. They call it “Big Chief Bloody Tomahawk’s favorite scalp belt” and charge admission to see it.


I can go through Caddie Woodlawn, noting bias sprinkled throughout the story. I can point out problematic words like “squaw” and the repeated use of “brave” to refer to Native men. But I’m not a historian, and there are things that I have to read to be able to do a thorough analysis of the story.


For example: What is a scalp belt? I did a search of google web, google scholar, and google books and found hundreds---literally---hundreds of references to scalp belt, but most of them were to lesson plans and reviews of Caddie Woodlawn. I did a search using JSTOR (a cross-disciplinary database of scholarly journals), and was unable to locate the phrase. At this point, I conclude that there was, and is, no such thing as a “scalp belt.” Instead, it is the fanciful creation of Caddie Woodhouse (known to us as Caddie Woodlawn) or Carol Ryrie Brink, the author of Caddie Woodlawn (and granddaughter of Caddie Woodlawn). The author says all the people in the story are real. I wonder who Indian John was, and what tribe he belonged to. I wonder about the fears of the white families, the references to a massacre in which “the Indians of Minnesota had killed a thousand white people, burning their houses and destroying their crops.” When I read these books, I wonder, what is, and where is, the truth?



Update: May 7, 2007

Below are additional passages from the "scalp belt" material in the book. And, on my other blog, Images of Indians in Children's Books, I've posted an illustration from the book. When I have access to a scanner, I'll post a better image. For now, I'm making-do with a photo taken with my camera phone. (Note: There is a LOT of biased content about American Indians all through the book. In this particular instance, I'm focusing on the "scalp belt.")


p. 147: Passage where Indian John gives Caddie the scalp belt

"Look, Missee Red Hair. You keep scalp belt, too?"

"The scalp belt?" She felt the old prickling sensation up where her scalp lock grew as she looked at the belt with its gruesome decorations of human hair.

"Him very old," said John, picking up the belt with calm familiarity. "John's father, great chief, him take many scalps. Now John no do. John have many friend. John no want scalp. You keep?" John held it out.

Gingerly, with the tips of her thumb and first finger, Caddie took it.



p. 150: Description of scalp belt

Hetty and little Minnie crowded after Tom and Warren. It was a simple buckskin belt ornamented with colored beads, and from it hung three long tails of black hair, each with a bit of shriveled skin at the end."


Monday, June 14, 2010

A thoughtful response from Laurie Halse Anderson

Bookmark and Share

Over on Condensery, blogger Kate Slater posted an essay about Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains. Slater started by noting "hurtful or reductive representations" of American Indians in Caddie Woodlawn, and then she moves on to talk about Chains. She says Anderson engages with marginalization, oppression, and violence in a rich (not reductive) way, and Slater notes some anachronisms in the book that she found jarring.

Anderson replied, asking Slater about the anachronisms, because, she said "If I made any mistakes, I would like to correct them."

That sentence leaped out at me! How many other authors are willing to say that?!

Slater replied to Anderson, and Anderson responded again. It is a terrific thread. Click on over to read "Rememory and Laurie Halse Anderson's Chains". That sort of engagement is what I wish I could have with authors who, in some way, include American Indians in their books for children and young adults. Course, it isn't possible with those who are no longer living (such as Wilder or Brink) but what about Rinaldi?

________________
Further reading, see:

Reflections on CADDIE WOODLAWN: Teaching about Stereotypes using Literature

Illustrations of the "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN

The "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN


Saturday, March 17, 2007

Reflections on CADDIE WOODLAWN: Teaching about Stereotypes using Literature

One evening in 1999, when my daughter, Liz, (then a third-grader) was doing homework, she said "Mom, I don't get it." She’s exceptionally bright, so when she told me she didn't get it, I knew something was up. I asked her what she was reading. She held up Caddie Woodlawn.

I was well into my research by that time (study of representation of Native Americans in children's books). Given UIUC's “Chief Illiniwek,” Liz learned early on about racism, representation, and stereotyping.

By then, I was already collaborating with Beverly Slapin at Oyate. I told her about Liz’s experience reading Caddie Woodlawn. She invited Liz to dictate her experience for inclusion in A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. Titled “Liz’s Story” here is a portion of what eight-year-old Liz said:


"And so we were reading it and when we got to the second chapter, it said, I'm not sure exactly what it said, that the Native Americans were sneaking around like dogs, and they picked up Caddie Woodlawn by her hair, and they were acting like dogs sniffing a bone. In another part it said that the Native Americans were massacring, murdering, and scalping the pioneers and made belts out of their hair and skin. They made the pioneers seem like angels and the Native Americans like inhuman monsters. I felt hurt inside, my eyes were watering, and I felt like I wanted to cry. But then I thought, there's something I can do about this."



Liz goes on to talk about how, the next day, she went to her teacher and the group to tell them how she felt about the book, and that she wanted them to stop reading it. Due to the teacher's social justice approach to teaching, Liz's group had great empathy and agreed to choose a different book.

Liz's best friend at the time was also in the group, and she said she didn't want them to pick a book that made white people look bad. In the end, I bought and donated 10 copies of Erdrich's Birchbark House. That is what they read instead. Liz went on to write a short play of one scene in the book, which her group later performed for their classmates.

This episode illustrates some of what good teachers must contend with in America’s under-funded schools.

The teacher chose this book because they were studying historical fiction, and she wanted them to read a story set in or near the midwest. She was using ‘best practice’ in that regard.

She chose that book because there were multiple copies of it available at the school.

She knew it contained derogatory content about American Indians, but, she thought it would give the students the opportunity to deconstruct stereotypical images, applying their critical thinking skills to issues of representation, etc.

As Liz’s experience documents, it didn’t work.

Back then, I called my friends and colleagues in children’s literature, asking them for ideas on what to do. One expressed disgust that an old, outdated book was still being used in the classroom. She suggested the teacher use the book, but NOT as a work of literature. Here’s her rationale:

If a book is well-written, readers will be drawn into it, identifying with characters, setting, story, etc. as they read it, cover to cover. It might be difficult, given that growing attachment to the book, to distance themselves enough to be able to critically discuss the negative representations of American Indians. Analyzing such representations is important, and using children’s books to do it is possible, but not if the book is read, first, as literature. Here’s a rough outline of what a teacher might do:

  1. Assign specific chapters to different groups of children.
  2. Ask each group to focus on passages about American Indians in their specific chapter. What words are used to describe them? What tone is conveyed?
  3. Repeat this exercise for the non-Native characters.
  4. Compare and contrast the two sets of data.
  5. Engage the children in conversations about differences in these representations.
  6. Talk about the period when the book was written.
  7. Talk about the period itself, and how people thought about American Indians at that time.

If any of you (readers of this blog) have done something like this, please write to me. I’d like to hear how it works in practice.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

A reader asked about CADDIE WOODLAWN....

When my daughter was in 3rd grade (eight years ago), one evening while doing reading homework, she said "Mom, I don't get it." She's a smart kid, so when she told me she didn't get it, I knew something was up. I asked her what she was doing. She held up Caddie Woodlawn. I knew right away what was coming. I was well into my graduate work by then, which centered on representation of Native Americans in children's books. Given UIUC's mascot ("Chief Illiniwek), Liz and I had (by then) many conversations about racism and representation and stereotyping.

By then, I had met and collaborated with Beverly Slapin at Oyate on some work. One evening, I talked with her about Liz and Caddie Woodlawn. The upshot of that conversation was that Liz dictated an essay to Beverly. The essay is called "Liz's Story" and it is in A Broken Flute, available from Oyate http://www.oyate.org/newstuff.html. Here's part of what Liz said, back then, as an 8 year old:
And so we were reading it and when we got to the second chapter, it said, I'm not sure exactly what it said, that the Native Americans were sneaking around like dogs, and they picked up Caddie Woodlawn by her hair, and they were acting like dogs sniffing a bone. In another part it said that the Native Americans were massacring, murdering, and scalping the pioneers and made belts out of their hair and skin. They made the pioneers seem like angels and the Native Americans like inhuman monsters. I felt hurt inside, my eyes were watering, and I felt like I wanted to cry. But then I thought, there's something I can do about this.
In the remainder of her essay, she goes on to talk about how, the next day, she went to her teacher and the group to tell them how she felt about the book, that she wanted them to drop it. Due to the careful work of the teacher prior to this (social justice), the group had great empathy and agreed to choose a different book. Liz's best friend at the time was also in the group. She said she didn't want them to pick a book that made white people look bad.

In the end, I bought 10 copies of Erdrich's Birchbark House and that is what they read.

This episode brought out a lot. The teacher chose this book because they were studying historical fiction, and she wanted them to read something located in or near the Midwest. She was using best practice in that regard. And, it was convenient because there were multiple copies of the book available at the school. She thought it would give the students the opportunity to deconstruct a flawed book, applying their critical thinking skills to issues of representation, etc.

Liz and I talked more about that episode. She said that when they (they were taking turns reading aloud) came to the phrase "Indian John," the boy who was reading at the time stopped and asked for a conversation about that name, suggesting they should change it (drop the "Indian). They talked about it, doing a fine job of applying critical skills. There were 5 kids in the group. In round robin style, each spoke about what they thought of the suggestion to drop "Indian." Child one said drop it. Child two said drop it. Child three said drop it. Child four was Liz's best friend, and she said she thought they should leave it as the author intended. Liz was next. Think of her dilemma. Follow her heart and vote to drop it, thereby leaving her best friend all alone in her vote? Remember---these are smart kids, but they're only eight years old. Liz voted with her friend, but they lost the vote anyway, and from that page on, the group did did not read aloud "Indian" when they came to that character's name.

I encourage everyone to get A Broken Flute. There are many essays in it, but also hundreds of reviews of books with American Indian content. A Broken Flute and Through Indian Eyes, both available from Oyate, are the very best resources out there to help teachers and librarians gain understanding and knowledge necessary to help them do a better job of teaching about American Indians.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

CADDIE WOODLAWN... in Chinese

Thanks, Minjie, for writing to tell me that Caddie Woodlawn is being published in China. Here's the cover:

Regular readers of American Indians in Children's Literature may recall my daughter's encounter with Caddie Woodlawn... I wonder if it, like Little House on the Prairie, will be placed on the National Curriculum in China?

(A personal note: I've been away from AICL for 3 weeks to provide round-the-clock care for my mom. She lives on our reservation and doesn't have internet. When I left Nambe on Monday morning, she was more herself than she's been in years. It was a difficult six weeks for all of us with many scary moments, but she's made it through an emergency surgery and an extensive hospital stay, and she's literally dancing down her hallway these days.)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Elizabeth Bird's survey of Top 100 Children's Novels

A while back, SLJ (School Library Journal) columnist Elizabeth Bird invited her readers to send her a list of their top ten children's novels. She asked them to rank the books, in terms of "biggest impact" and "second biggest" and so on.

She compiled the information she received, and on Feb 8, 2010, she started blogging her findings on her blog, "A Fuse #8 Production." On that day, she presented books #100 through 91. She's done a terrific job presenting the books. Quoting from people who submitted them, reviews of them, criticism, discussion guides, and, providing book covers (some books have had many covers over the years) and links to videos of those that were made into films. As she posts over the next couple of weeks, I'll respond as I can.

In the opening paragraphs to her Feb 8 post, she said there "are heroes and villains" in the list, and she guarantees that

"you will see one book that makes you boo, and another that makes you cheer, perhaps in the same post. There are books included here that I adore and there are definitely books here that I abhor. My job is to never show the difference. So sit back and get ready to complain or cheer in turns. It's totally within your rights."

I don't like her use of "complain." Especially as the flip side of cheer. The word "complain" (for me) has negative connotations. It suggests a whiny orientation that lacks in substance. Instead of thinking about negative criticism, people are prone to wave it off as "politically correct." 


Anyway, it is no surprise that Indian in the Cupboard by Lynne Reid Banks is on this list. Bird quotes Eric Carpenter, one of the readers who submitted his list of top ten books:
My third grade teacher read this one to the class. Three years later I remember scraping my birthday money together to order the 3 book set from Scholastic. I read these books until the covers came off. Rereading this brought me right back to those childhood days when I would challenge myself to read all three in a weekend (cold central NY winters made such feats a necessity.)
I like that Bird provides her readers with links to the Oyate critique of the book, and that she quotes  from the Oyate review.  Here's what Bird used:

"The object here was not to draw an authentic Native person, but to create an arresting literary device. Although the little 'Indian' is called Iroquois, no attempt has been made, either in text or illustrations, to have him look or behave appropriately. For example, he is dressed as a Plains Indian, and is given a tipi and a horse. This is how he talks: 'I help... I go... Big hole. I go through... Want fire. Want make dance. Call spirits.' Et cetera. There are characteristic speech patterns for those who are also Native speakers, but nobody in the history of the world ever spoke this way."  

I wish, however, that she had used the excerpt below instead of, or in addition to, the one she chose (by the way, Bird's post is missing a paragraph break after "spoke this way." Her "School Library Journal ascribed this in part..." are Bird's words and are not part of the Oyate review). Doris Seale wrote the Oyate review, and it it includes an except right out of the book.

He saw an Indian making straight for him. His face, in the torchlight, was twisted with fury. For a second, Omri saw, under the shaven scalplock, the mindless destructive face of a skinhead just before he lashed out... .The Algonquin licked his lips, snarling like a dog... .Their headdresses... even their movements... were alien. Their faces, too—their faces! They were wild, distorted, terrifying masks of hatred and rage.
See the difference? The part Bird used is about stereotypes. That is important information about the book. But, the one I wish she had used is about the way the Indian is characterized as animal-like. I wonder if there were any Native children in Eric Carpenter's 3rd grade New York City classroom? I wonder how they may have felt, reading that passage in the book?

The book in spot #93 is Caddie Woodlawn, by Carol Ryrie Brink. In discussing Caddie Woodlawn, Bird links to "Reflections on Caddie Woodlawn" posted on American Indians in Children's Literature in March of 2007, where I recount my daughter's experience with the book. Please click on Reflections and read Jeff Berglund's comment.  I saw Jeff just last week. We were both at the American Indian Studies conference at Arizona State University.

Bird includes links for teachers. Among those links is a bibliography of "books on American Indians to help young people develop an awareness of an alternative point of view" and to "broaden cultural understanding."  I looked at the books on there and, while I was glad to see Birchbark House at the top, the point of view it offers is overwhelmed by most of the other books on the list, including a book by Kathy Jo Wargin. If you're interested in a Native critique of Wargin's work, read Lois Beardlee on Mackinac Island Press. Beardslee writes
Lewis’s business, Sleeping Bear Press, produced several books that profoundly offended the local Native American community and received scathing reviews by Native American scholars, including me. Among the offending books are: The Legend of Sleeping Bear (1998), The Legend of Mackinac Island (1999), The Legend of the Lady’s Slipper (2001), The Legend of Leelanau (2003), and The Legend of the Petoskey Stone (2004) all written by Kathy-jo Wargin and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuysen. All of these “Indian legends” were either manufactured by the author and publisher or based upon the historically tainted writings of nineteenth century ethnologist/Indian agent/wannabe-writer Henry Rowe Schoolcraft. All are written in the style of Schoolcraft’s nineteenth century syrupy language and all promote nineteenth century stereotypes of Native Americans as simple, docile, primitive people—motifs that were used to justify the usurpation of Native lands and resources through the near extirpation of aboriginal residents.
The bibliography also includes Douglas Wood's The Windigo's Return, a book that Betsy Hearne took to task in "Swapping Tales and Stealing Stories" and one of Paul Goble's books. Goble's books have been soundly critiqued by a leader in American Indian Studies, Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. For details, see "About Paul Goble and his books..."

In addition to Birchbark House, the bibliography does have some books that I, too, would recommend. Patty Loew's Native People of Wisconsin is an excellent book that I've not yet written about.

At the end of the Feb 8 post is a link to the next set of books. I wonder what I'll find there?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

A child's experience with CADDIE WOODLAWN

Comment posted today, by Jeff, regarding his daughter, who has been asked to read Caddie Woodlawn... The comment is the third one posted to "Reflections on CADDIE WOODLAWN" posted on March 17, 2007.

If you are able, Jeff, keep us updated!
.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Oliver Herford's THE PETER PAN ALPHABET

A colleague in children's literature, Perry Nodelman, has been sharing his collection of images of Indians in Peter Pan books illustrated by various authors over the last 100 years. If you want to see them, search twitter using #EthnographicInaccuracy.

Among them is Oliver Herford's The Peter Pan Alphabet, published in 1907. Here's the cover:



Here's the title page:



You can read the whole thing if you want to: The Peter Pan Alphabet.  I'm interested in two pages. Here's the page for the letter I:



And here's the page for the letter R:



Some of you might be sighing with relief, thinking that the 1907 publication year of this book means that such things are of-the-past. They aren't.

In the ever-popular Caddie Woodlawn a "scalp belt" figures prominently. The townspeople fear being scalped. And I trust readers of AICL are well aware of a professional football team in Washington DC that is named "Redskins." Setting aside that word, note Herbert's "What a Treat to see "Injuns" sit up and Behave!" Why did he put Injuns in quotation marks? The "sit up and behave" indicates he thought that Native people were... Lazy? Wild? Out of control? Naughty?!

Interestingly, that "wild Indian" appears in Caddie Woodlawn! Caddie is a tomboy. People ask her mom when she's going to make a "young lady" out of this "wild Indian."

My point in sharing these two pages from Herford's 1907 book? To note that those sentiments are still very much a part of today's society. 

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.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Illustrations of the "scalp belt" in CADDIE WOODLAWN

On Images of Indians in Children's Books, I've posted scans of the illustrations of the "scalp belt" in Caddie Woodlawn. There are two sets of scans. One from the earlier edition with Seredy's illustrations and one set from the later edition, with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman.

I have yet to substantiate--to my satisfaction--the existence of a "scalp belt" as an artifact actually made or used by Native people. It does appear in fiction by non-Native people, such as Zane Grey. I'm still looking, though, so I do welcome your leads.

A special request to librarians:

Can you tell me how many copies of the book you have in your library? And, can you give me any details as to its circulation in the last year or years?

Monday, August 13, 2012

"In any war between the civilized man and the savage..."

Have you seen this ad? It is, or has been, on buses in New York City and San Francisco. (See an ABC San Francisco news story on the ad: "Pro-Israel ads on Muni buses spark criticism.")

The ad uses "civilized man" and "savage." It doesn't say "savage man"--it simply says "savage."

I'm wondering if the roots of the "savage" idea used by the American Freedom Defense Initiative go back to children's books? One children's book after another uses "savage" or "savages" to describe Indigenous peoples.

Want some examples?

In Carol Ryrie Brink's Caddie Woodlawn, published in 1935, Mrs. Woodlawn says "those frightful savages will eat us out of house and home" (p. 7). 

In Lois Lenski's Indian Captive, published in 1941, Captain Morgan says "An untamed savage, growing up like a wild beast in the forest" (p. 264).

In Elizabeth George Speare's Calico Captive, published in 1957, the narrative reads "Two of the savages came from the bedroom, dragging a shrinking and almost naked Susana between them" (p. 16). 

In Speare's The Witch of Blackbird Pond, published in 1958, John says to Kit "How did you learn to read when you say you just ran wild like a savage and never did any work? (p. 27).

In her Sign of the Beaver, published in 1983, Matt thinks "How could he possibly teach a savage to read?" (p. 32).
  
These books are miseducating the young people who read them.

Words are powerful weapons that are used to socialize---to teach---that certain peoples are "other" to be feared, defeated, killed, colonized. Not using nouns that make it clear that Indigenous peoples are human beings, or men, women, children, and babies, helped, and helps, to justify wars and aggression by the "civilized man" on American Indians and anyone else deemed as "enemy." With 'savage' ideology firmly embedded in that "civilized man," all manner of aggression and war are possible. 

I think children's books are part of the socialization that creates an attitude like the one on display in the ad, and I will continue to use American Indians in Children's Literature to point out destructive biases that hurt all of us. I hope you will, too. 

 







Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Classic, Award-Winning, Popular Books with Racist, Biased Depictions of Indigenous People

In my experience, a lot of people don't remember or realize that classic, award-winning, or popular books have Native content in them that is biased, stereotypical, or just flat out incorrect. I and others have written about several of those books. That writing is here on AICL but in research and professional articles and book chapters, too.

This post is a list of links to some of that writing. If you're a teacher or professor interested in using a children's or young adult book to teach critical literacy, these will work well for that sort of analysis.

Arrow to the Sun

Caddie Woodlawn 

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Island of the Blue Dolphins

Little House on the Prairie

Sign of the Beaver

Touching Spirit Bear


What we need are books by Native writers! Check out AICL's Best Books lists.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Not recommended: INTO THE WOODS (book one in the "Bigfoot Boy" series of graphic novels) by Torres and Hicks

A reader wrote to ask if I've seen the Bigfoot Boy series of graphic novels by J. Torres, illustrated by Faith Erin Hicks.

The first one Into the Woods came out in 2012 from Kids Can Press. Here's the description:
Bored while visiting his grandmother for the weekend, Rufus, an ordinary ten-year-old boy, ventures into the nearby woods after he spies his young neighbor Penny heading there. A city kid, Rufus quickly loses sight of Penny, but while making his way back to Grammy's, he's drawn to an unusual object he sees hidden inside a tree: it's a totem, carved out of wood and hung on a cord. Rufus places the odd-looking thing around his neck and reads out loud the word inscribed on it: “Sasquatch.” Suddenly, strange things begin happening all around him --- and to him. Rufus doesn't know what's going on, but he's sure of one thing. He'll never be ordinary again!

Totem? Strange things? Hmm...

So, I took a look at what I can see online. The first pages are funny. Rufus is so bored! His grandmother is watching her soaps. On the wall are photographs of what I take to be Native people. That, I think, is great!


Rufus looks out the window and sees a girl going into the woods.

He decides to do that, too, and is creeped out and awed by the forest (remember, he's a city kid), as he walks through it.

He wonders aloud "where am I?"

Then he comes upon the girl, who tells him "You are in my forest."

See her hair?




The next day he looks out the window and sees a Native teen hanging clothes on the line. There's little hearts floating around him. I think that is a hint that he thinks she's pretty.

She turns around, sees him, introduces herself (her name is Aurora) and remarks on how red his hair is. She's seen photographs of him but didn't realize his hair would be so red, in person. Then.... she ruffles his hair.  So many stories have that Native fascination with blonde and red hair. The Native characters want to touch it. And they do. I don't know how or why that particular idea took root, but it is old and icky. At the moment I am not remembering a Native writer who has their characters do that. Lot of non-Native writers do it, though. It is in Caddie Woodlawn, for example:



Aurora sees her little sister, Penny, watching them, and asks what she's doing. Penny stomps off. Aurora tells Rufus "That's my sister Penny. She's a skunk." Rufus says "I know. I met her yesterday. She was kind of mean." Then.... another problem:

Aurora says "Oh! That's not what I meant. Skunk is her animal spirit guide."



Rufus asks what that is, and in the next panel, Aurora tells him "It's an animal spirit that protects and helps you if you know how to listen to the. Some people take after their animal guides and have similar .... traits."  She goes on to talk about how Penny is like a skunk. She doesn't say anything about that white streak in Penny's hair, but I can't NOT see it as Torres and Hicks are providing visual evidence of Penny's "spirit animal."



Like Native people shown in awe of blonde or red hair, spirit animals are a problem. I was enjoying this graphic novel until we got to the red hair part, and the spirit animal part definitely puts Into the Woods in the "Not Recommended" category.






Sunday, August 14, 2016

A few words about Louise Erdrich's MAKOONS


Louise Erdrich's Makoons came out a few days ago. On August 13th, I took a look at Amazon, and saw that it was their #1 New Release in their Children's Native American Books category.



Erdrich is Ojibwe. The characters in her story are, too, which makes Makoons and the other books in the Birchbark House series an #ownvoices book (the #ownvoices hashtag was created by Corinne Dyuvis).

I love the series. I read the first one, Birchbark House, when it came out in 1999.

Birchbark House began in 1866 when we met Omakayas, a baby girl whose "first step was a hop" (page 5 of Birchbark House). Omakayas is an Ojibwe word that means Little Frog. Makoons is the 5th book in the Birckbark House series. In the 4th one, Chickadee, we met Omakayas as an adult with twin sons, Chickadee, and Makoons. I've got Makoons open and started reading it, but after reading the prologue, I'm pausing to remember the other books and characters.  The books and the characters in them live in my head and heart for many reasons.

When my daughter was in third grade, her reading group started out with Caddie Woodlawn but abandoned it because of its problematic depictions of Native people. The book they read instead? Birchbark House. One of their favorite scenes from the book is when Omakayas has gone to visit Old Tallow to get a pair of scissors and has her encounter with a mama bear and her bear cubs. Indeed, they wrote a script and performed that chapter for their class (and of course, parents!). My daughter played the part of Omakayas. The prop she made for their performance is the scissors in their red beaded pouch. I've got them stored away for safekeeping. They represent my little girl speaking up about problematic depictions.

~~~~~

Chickadee is captured in Chickadee. The story of his capture and his return is what Chickadee is about. Makoons was devastated by that capture. The worry over his brother makes him sick. That sickness is where Makoons opens. In the prologue, Makoons is recovering as he listens to Chickadee sing to him. They spend hours together. Makoons remembers, and tells Chickadee about, a vision he had while sick. Their family will not return to their homeland. They're going to be strong and learn to live on the Plains but they will, Makoons tells Chickadee tearfully, be tested. The two boys are going to have to save their family... but won't be able to save them all.

A gripping and heartbreaking moment, for me, as I start reading Makoons


Monday, January 26, 2015

"Injun" in Chris Kyle's AMERICAN SNIPER

When American Sniper opened in theaters last week, I started to see reviews that pointed out Kyle's use of the word savage to describe Iraqis. That word has been used to describe American Indians. I wondered if Kyle made any connections between "savage" and American Indians in his book. The answer? Yes.

In his autobiography, Kyle uses "Injun" in two places. Here's what he said on page 267:
Or we would bump out 500 yards, six or eight hundred yards, going deep into Injun territory to look and wait for the bad guys.
And here's what he said on page 291:
Our missions would last for an overnight or two in Injun country.
See? He made connections between "savage" Iraqis and "savage" Indians. In his book, he used the word "savage" several times. Here's page 4 (the book uses caps as shown):
SAVAGE, DESPICABLE EVIL. THAT'S WHAT WE WERE FIGHTING in Iraq. That's why a lot of people, myself included, called the enemy "savages." 
Later on that same page, he says that when people asked him how many he's killed:
The number is not important to me. I only wish I had killed more. Not for bragging rights, but because I believe the world is a better place without savages out there taking American lives.
On page 147:
THE BAD GUYS THE ENEMIES WE WERE FIGHTING WERE SAVAGE AND WELL-armed 
On page 173:
It was near a hospital the insurgents had converted into a headquarters before our assault, and even now the area seemed to be a magnet for savages.
On page 219:
I hated the damn savages I'd been fighting.
On page 228:
They turned around and saw a savage with a rocket launcher lying dead on the ground.
On page 244:
They had heard we were out there slaying a huge number of savages.
On page 284:
There was a savage on the roof of the house next door, looking down at the window from the roof there. 
On page 316:
"...after we killed enough of the savages out there," I told him. 
On page 338:
I'd have to wait until the savage who put him up to it appeared on the street.
Of course, Kyle is not the first person to equate American Indians with Iraqis. In 2008, Professor Steven Silliman of the University of Massachusetts did a study of the use of "Indian Country." His article, The "Old West" in the Middle East: U.S. Military Metaphors in Real and Imagined Indian Country includes a chart of how it was used in the Middle East, by media and soldiers.

And, anyone who has paid attention to the use of "savage" or "Injun" in children's literature will be able to list several books that use either word to dehumanize American Indians. Here's a few examples:

  • Laura Ingalls Wilder used "savages" in her Little House on the Prairie.  
  • Carol Ryrie Brink used "savages" in Caddie Woodlawn.
  • Lois Lenski used "savage" in Indian Captive.
  • Elizabeth George Speare used "savages" in Calico Captive and "savage" in Sign of the Beaver.
  • Eoin Colfer used "savage Injun" in The Reluctant Assassin.

When we share books with the dehumanization of American Indians, do we inadvertently put people on that road to being able to dehumanize "other" in conflicts, be the conflict that takes place in war or on the streets of any country?

__________________
Update, 5:03 PM, January 26, 2015

In addition to the article I linked to above, please see the conclusion of Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz's Indigenous Peoples History of the United States. Irony abounds within military activity. At one point in time, US soldiers dehumanized Native peoples so they could destroy us, our homelands, and our ways of life. Kyle's framing of Iraqis as savages is a present-day manifestation of that.

Dunbar-Ortiz documents the flip side of that stance, quoting Robert D. Kaplan, a military analyst who Foreign Policy magazine named as one of the top 100 global thinkers in 2011:
"It is a small but interesting fact that members of the 101st Airborne Division, in preparation for their parachute drop on D-Day, shaved themselves in Mohawk style and applied war paint on their faces."
She cites other instances of that sort of thing. Get her book, if you can from Teaching for Change

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Elizabeth Bird's Survey of Top 100 Children's Novels, #90 thru #66

A week ago (Feb 10, 2010), I wrote about Elizabeth Bird's survey at SLJ. She asked readers to send her a list of their all time favorite novels. With that info, she's compiling a list, providing quite a lot of information about each book that is on the list of Top 100. On Feb 10, I wrote about two of the books on the list: Indian in the Cupboard, and, Caddie Woodlawn. Today, I'm taking a quick look at books between #90 and #66.


Number 94 is Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransom, published in 1930. (Note, April 17, 2010: I'm adding this book today.)
  • On page 16, Roger is "keeping a sharp lookout lest he should be shot by a savage with a poisoned arrow from behind a tree."
  • On page 137, the children come across what they call a "Red Indian wigwam" from which emerges "a very friendly savage".  Ransom's use of "Red Indian" was (is?) common in the United Kingdom.
  • On page 231, Nancy shouts "Honest Injun" .
  • On page 267, Nancy writes that John had "come at risk of his life to warn you that savage natives were planning an attack on your houseboat."
I think I'll have to find some time to study Swallows and Amazons.... 

Number 85 is On the Banks of Plum Creek, by Laura Ingalls Wilder.  The word "Indian" appears 12 times in the book, most of them about their time in Indian Territory. 
  • On page 143, Mary tells Laura to keep her sunbonnet on or "You'll be as brown as an Indian, and what will the town girls think of us?"
  • On page 218, Laura says "I wish I was an Indian and never had to wear clothes!" Course, Ma chides her for saying that, especially for saying it "on Sunday!"
I've written a lot about Wilder's books (see set of links at the bottom of this page), specifically, Little House on the Prairie, which I expect will be in the top tier of Elizabeth's survey. 

Number 78 is Johnny Tremain, written by Esther Forbes, published in 1943.  I'm going to have to reread that one...  I pulled it up on Google books and it looks like Forbes may have done a reasonable job describing the way the colonists dressed for the Boston Tea Party on December 16, 1773. The popular perception in America (thanks to a lithograph titled "The Destruction of Tea at Boston Harbor" done in 1846, 73 years after the event took place) is that the colonists dressed in fringe, face paint and feathered headdresses, but they did not do that. Here's what Forbes wrote in Johnny Tremain about the colonists getting ready (p. 140):
...they started to assume their disguises, smootch their faces with soot, paint them with red paint, pull on nightcaps, old frocks, torn jackets, blankets with holes cut for their arms...
See? No fringed buckskin. On page 141, Forbes writes that Johnny "had a fine mop of feathers standing upright in the old knitted cap he would wear on his head..."

I have notes on this somewhere....  I don't recall red paint and feather caps, but the rest of what Forbes writes matches what I recall. I'm mostly glad to see the accuracy of her description of the disguises, but disappointed when I get to page 143:
"Quick!" he [Rab] said, and smootched his face with soot, drew a red line across his mouth running from ear to ear. Johnny saw Rab's eyes through the mask of soot. They were glowing with that dark excitement he had seen but twice before. His lips were parted. His teeth looked sharp and white as an animals.
The character, Rab, in his painted face, becomes animal like. That is a familiar frame: Indian people and animals, very much alike. And of course, it is wrong.

In her discussion of Johnny Tremain, Bird includes a clip from the 1957 Disney film of the movie. In the clip, the colonists, some in fringed clothes, some in knit caps with feathers stuck into them, some with headbands and feathers, and some with painted faces, sing "Sons of Liberty."

Number 66 is Walk Two Moons, by Sharon Creech. On February 5, 2007, I published Beverly Slapin's review of the book here. In a nutshell? Not recommended! [Note, April 16, 2010: Also see my review essay, "Thoughts on Sharon Creech's Walk Two Moons", published on Feb. 25, 2010.]

Number 63 is Gone Away Lake written by Elizabeth Enrich in 1957. I did a search of content (used Google Books) and found four uses of "Indian" in the book.


  • Page 141: "Now and then (unnecessarily since they never looked back), he would freeze and stand still as an Indian in the shadows."
  • Page 198: "She just sat there, Baby-Belle did, with her arms folded on her chest staring at Mrs. Brace-Gideon severely, like an Indian chief or a judge or somebody like that."
  • Page 217: "the pale little crowds of Indian pipes and the orange jack-o'-lantern mushrooms that pushed up the needles."
  • Page 756: "in the distance, by the river's edge, a tiny Indian campfire burned with the colors of an opal."

In Gone Away Lake, one of the characters is named Minnehaha, which is from Longfellow. I don't know why she's named that. It is commonly regarded as an "Indian" name, but it is not. We can thank (or blame) Longfellow for so much of the mistaken information that circulates!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Addition to the site

Meyer's Twilight, Mikaelsen's Spirit Bear, Alexie's Diary. These and other books get a lot of attention on this site. To help you find all the posts on each of these books, I'm adding a new section to the site. It's way at the bottom. It is called "CLUSTERS." It'll take a while to add all the books and all the links for each title. To start, I added the links to discussions of Caddie Woodlawn. I hope it makes the site more user-friendly. When you have specific troubles with the site, please let me know! Trouble, suggestions for improvement, etc. I do this site for you, so I need (and use) your feedback to improve the layout of the site.

Monday, September 24, 2007

"The Indians crept closer and closer...."

A student in one of my classes shared a YouTube clip from an episode of the I Love Lucy show. The episode "The Indian Show" was episode #59, and aired May 4, 1953. The line I've used as a title for this post "The Indians crept closer and closer" is from the script for that episode.

In it, Ethel laughs at Lucy being so engrossed in "Blood Curdling Indian Tales" that Lucy screams when Ethel comes in the room. One might say the writers/producers were making a point that the book Lucy reads from is not to be taken seriously. Ethel, in fact, says sarcastically that Lucy is "reading more sophisticated things these days." Here's what Lucy reads aloud to Ethel. She prefaces her reading by saying that she's glad she didn't live in those days.

Then the silhouettes of the Indians appeared on the horizon. The pioneer men pushed the women and children back into the wagons. The Indians crept closer and closer. Fire-tipped arrows pierced the canvas of the first wagon. Women fainted. Children screamed. The Indians were almost upon them. They could see their fiendish faces, hideously painted, grotesque in the light of the leaping flames. There was a lull as the last groans of the dying men faded. Suddenly to the ears of the cowering women, out of the stillness of the night, broke the sound of an Indian war cry.



That text could have come right out of... Let's see... Little House on the Prairie? Or, Caddie Woodlawn? Matchlock Gun?

I wonder how teachers talk about those particular passages in those popular, award-winning, "classic" perhaps, books? I doubt most teachers characterize them as "unsophisticated," as Ethel did of Lucy's book.

By the way.... does anyone know of such a book?! Lucy holds it in her hands as she reads, and you can see the cover. In my cursory search, I was unable to find a book with that title. Here's the link to the YouTube clip, and here's one from later in the episode, when Lucy and Ricky sing.

Update: March 27, 2009: The clip is no longer available on youtube. The entire show is available
on veoh.


Watch the indian show in Comedy | View More Free Videos Online at Veoh.com


.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eighth Graders Analyze SIGN OF THE BEAVER


[Note: This essay submitted by Karen, a classroom teacher, in response to my post (on March 17th) about using Caddie Woodlawn to teach about stereotypes.]

My students and I have done critical analysis much like this, years ago with Sign of the Beaver, and more recently with a history textbook's chapter on the Civil War. I was working with 8th graders in a Title I pull-out language arts and social studies class when we analyzed Sign of the Beaver. The history text analysis was done with my fifth/sixth grade class last year. We also think critically about historical events, looking at them from the perspectives of ordinary people affected by the decisions of those in power.

The one piece that I found essential to have in place before analysis of Sign of the Beaver was a thorough grounding in culturally authentic literature. Living and teaching in southern Vermont, most of my students are white. Before my students can think critically about stereotypes in literature, they need to see literature that's positive and authentic. That's equally true for the very few students who have strong Native ties or are black or Asian as for the white students.

Having said that, I think the analysis of specific chapters and passages in Sign of the Beaver was also successful because, as you suggest, we didn't read it as a novel or as literature, we just read those passages, largely comparing the ways in which Attean's speech, his grandfather's speech and that of Matt are described. The students, given to me to teach because they'd been unengaged in the "regular ed" classrooms, were vocal and articulate in their responses to Speare's depiction of Attean's speech as grunts. I can still hear their voices, 18 years later, as they "talked back" to Speare.

I don't do this more often for a couple of reasons: -first, with only so much time, I do want to make sure my students get that authentic literature. I'm reading Hidden Roots right now to my class. -second, even in snippets, literature is so powerful and can be so powerfully painful. When most of the kids are white, the possibilities of pain for others are so much greater, as my own sons (we're a multiwhateverish background family, black, white, Mi'kmaq, and mystery genes) have let me know. Thinking critically about historical events and about texts somehow doesn't hurt as much as the literature can.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Index of Books Reviewed (or otherwise referenced) in A BROKEN FLUTE: THE NATIVE EXPERIENCE IN BOOKS FOR CHILDREN

In 2005, one of the very best resources for critical reviews of book with American Indian content was published. The book is called A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children. Reviews in the book are by 58 different people, many of whom are American Indian.

Reviews in A Broken Flute look critically at the way that American Indians are presented. A good many children’s books with Native content receive rave reviews from mainstream journals whose primary concern is with the literary aspects of a story. Too often, little attention is paid to the accuracy of the story, or the underlying bias and ideology that casts American Indians in ways that suggest we are super- or sub-human creatures whose existence is confined to the remote past, or a mythological space and time. 

If you arrived at this webpage due to an Internet search on a specific title, I encourage you to locate a copy of A Broken Flute and read the review therein. If you already own the book, use the review to help children learn how to look critically at the ways that American Indians are presented in the book. A Broken Flute is available from Oyate.

1621: A New Look at Thanksgiving
Abiding Appalachia: Where Mountain and Atom Meet
Acorn Soup
Across the Wide River
Adaline Falling Star
Adopted by the Eagles
Adventure on Thunder Island
After and Before the Lightning
An Algonquian Year: The Year According to the Full Moon
"Amazing Indian Children" Series:
  • Amee-nah: Zuni Boy Runs the Race of His Life
  • Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers
  • Kunu: Winnebago Boy Escapes
  • Moho Wat: Sheepeater Boy Attempts a Rescue
  • Naya Nuki: Shoshoni Girl Who Ran
  • Om-kas-toe: Blackfeet Twin Captures an Elkdog
  • Pathki Nana: Kootenai Girl Solves a Mystery
  • Soun Tetoken: Nez Perce Boy Tames a Stallion
American Indian Myths and Legends
American Indian Mythology, Kiowa Voices, Vol. II: Myths, Legends and Folktales
American Indian Stories
American Indian Trickster Tales
America's Fascinating Indian Heritage
Amikoonse (Little Beaver)
And Still the Turtle Watched
Angela Weaves a Dream: The Story of a Young Maya Artist
Anna's Athabaskan Summer
Antelope Woman
Apache Children and Elders Talk Together
Apache Rodeo
April Raintree
Ararapikva: Creation Stories other People
Arctic Hunter
Arrow Over the Door
Arrow to the Sun: A Pueblo Indian Tale
Ashkii and His Grandfather
As Long as the Rivers Flow
Atlas of the North American Indian
Away from Home: American Indian Boarding School Experiences
Back in the Beforetime: Tales of the California Indians
Bead on an Anthill: A Lakota Childhood
Bears Make Rock Soup and other stories
Behind Closed Doors: Stories from the Kamloops Indian Residential School
Beneath the Stone: A Mexican Zapotec Tale
Best Thanksgiving Book: ABC Adventures
Bighorse the Warrior
The Big Tree and the Little Tree
Bineshinnh Dibaajmowin/Bird Talk
The Birchbark House
The Bird who Cleans the World and the Mayan Fables
The Birth of Nanbosho
The Birthday Bear
Bison for Kids
Black Elk Speaks: Being the Life Story of a Holy Man of the Oglala Sioux
Blackfoot Children and Elders Talk Together
Black Mountain Boy: A Story of the Boyoood of John Honie
The Blizzard’s Robe
The Blue Roses
Boarding School Seasons: American Indian Families, 1900-1940
Boat Ride with Lilian Two Blossom
Bone Dance
The Book of Medicines
Boozhoo, Come Play with us
The Boxcar Children: The Mytstery of the Lost Village
A Boy Becomes a Man at Wounded Knee
The Boy Who Loved Mourning
The Boy Who Made Dragonfly
A Braid of Lives: Native American Childhood
Brave Bear and the Ghosts: A Sioux Legend
Brave Eagle’s Account of the Fetterman Fight
The Bravest Flute: A Story of Courage in the Mayan Tradition
Bring Back the Deer
Brothers in Arms
Brother Eagle, Sister Sky
Buffalo: with Selections from Native American Song-Poems illustrated with original paintings
Buffalo Before Breakfast
Buffalo Bird Woman’s Garden: Agriculture of the Hidatsa Indians
Buffalo Days
Buffalo Dreams
Buffalo Hunt
The Buffalo Jump
Building an Igloo
Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West
Caddie Woodlawn
California Missions to Cut out: Book 1
California Missions: Projects and Layouts
Caribou Song/atihko nikamon
Cherokee Sister
Cheryl Bibalhats/Cheryl’s Potlach
Chester Bear, Where Are You?
Cheyenne Again
The Chichi Hoohoo Bogeyman
Children of Clay: A Family of Pueblo Potters
Children of the First People
Children of the Great Muskeg
Children of Guatemala
Children of the Indian Boarding Schools
Children of the Midnight Sun: Young Native Voices of Alaska
Children of the Maya: A Guatemalan Odyssey
Children of Native American Today
Children of the Sierra Madre
Children of the Tlingit
Children of the Longhouse
Children of Yucatan
The Choctaw Code
Chronicles of American Indian Protest
Clambake: A Wampanoag Tradition
Clamshell Boy: A Makah Legend
Cloud Eyes
Continuum
"Council for Indian Education" Series:
  • Charlie Young Bear
  • The Day of the Ogre Kachinas
  • Fire Mate
  • From the Ashes
  • Heart of Naosaqua
  • Navajo Long Walk (Armstrong)
  • Nesuya's Basket
  • Quest for Courage
The Courage of Sarah Noble
A Coyote Columbus Story
Coyote Fights the Sun: A Shasta Indian Tale
Coyote and the Fire Stick: A Pacific Northwest Indian Tale
Coyote and the Grasshoppers: A Pomo Legend
Coyote and the Laughing Butterflies
Coyote and Little Turtle
Coyote in Love
Coyote in Love with a Star
Coyote and the Magic Words
Coyote Makes Man
Coyote Places the Stars
The Coyote Rings the Wrong Bell
Coyote Sings to the Moon
Coyote Steals the Blanket: A Ute Tale
Coyote Stories
Coyote Stories for Children
Coyote Stories of the Montana Salish Indians
Coyote Stories of the Navajo People
Coyote: A Trickster Tale from the American Southwest
Coyote the Trickster
Coyote and the Winnowing Birds
Crafts for Thanksgiving
Crazy Horse: The Strange Man of the Oglalas
Crazy Horse’s Vision
Crow Children and Elders Talk Together
The Crying Christmas Tree
Dakota Dreams
Dancing Drum: A Cherokee Legend
Dancing Rainbows
Dancing with the Indians
Dancing with the Wind: The ArtsReach Literary Magazine
Daniel Boone and the Wilderness Road
Daughter of Suqua
Day of the Dead: A Mexican- American Celebration
The Days of Augusta
The Day Sun Was Stolen
Death of the Iron Horse
Dezbah and the Dancing Tumbleweeds
The Diary of Anne Frank
Did You Hear Wind Sing Your Name? An Oneida Song of Spring
The Dirt is Red Here
Dirt Road Home
Discovering the Inca Ice Maiden
Doe Sia: Bannock Girl and the Handcart Pioneers
Doesn’t Fall Off His Horse
Don’t Know Much About Sitting Bull
Dragonfly Kites/pijihakanisa
Dragonfly’s Tale
Dreamcatcher (Maynard)
Dreamcatcher (Osofsky)
The Dreamcatcher: Keep your happy dreams-forever!
Drumbeat, Heartbeat: A Celebration of the PowWow
Durable Breathe
Eagle Feather
Eagle Feather—An Honor
Eagle Song
Earth Daughter: Alicia of Acoma Pueblo
Earth Maker’s Lodge: Native American Folklore, Activities, and Foods
Earthmaker’s Tales: North American Indian Stories About Earth Happenings
Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928
Elderberry Flute Song: Contemporary Coyote Tales
Emma and the Trees/Emma minwaah mtigooh
Enduring Wisdon: Sayings from Native Americans
Eskimo Boy: Life in an Inupiaq Eskimo Village
The Eye of the Needle
Eyes of Darkness
False Face
Feather in the Wind
A Few More Stories: Contemporary Seneca Indian Tales of the Supernatural
Firefly Night
Fire Race: A Karuk Coyote Tale
The First American Thanksgiving
First Came the Indians
First Nations Families
First Nations Technology
The First Thanksgiving (George)
The First Thanksgiving (Hayward)
The First Thanksgiving (Jackson)
The First Thanksgiving (Rogers)
First Woman and the Strawberry: A Cherokee Legend
Five Little Katchinas
The Flute Player
Follow the Stars: A Native American Woodlands Tale
Food and Recipes of the Native Americans
Forbidden Talent
Fort Chipewyan Homecoming: A Journey to Native Canada
Fox on the Ice/mahkesis miskwamihk e-cipatapit
Fox Song
Four Seasons of Corn: A Winnebago Tradition
From Abenaki to Zuni: A Dictionary of Native American Tribes
From the Belly of the Beast
From the Deep Woods to Civilization
From the Land of the White Birch
Frozen Land: Vanishing Cultures
The Gathering: Stories for the Medicine Wheel
The Gift of the Sacred Pipe
Ghost Dance (Seale)
The Ghost Dance (McLerran)
The Ghost Dance Religion and the Sioux Outbreak of 1890
A Gift for Ampato
Gift Horse
The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah Nita, a Navajo Girl, New Mexico, 1864
Giving Birth to Thunder, Sleeping with His Daughter: Coyote Builds North America
Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning Message
Gold Fever
Goodbird the Indian: His Story
The Good Luck Cat
Good News from New England: A True Relation of Things Very Remarkable at the Plantation of Plimoth in New England
The Grandchildren of the Incas
Grandchildren of the Lakota
Grandfather Drum
Grandfather Four Winds and Rising Moon
Grandmother’s Pigeon
Grandma’s Special Feeling
Grandmother Five Baskets
Grandmother’s Dreamcatcher
Grandmother’s Gift: Stories from the Anishinaabeg
The Great Buffalo Race
The Great Canoes: Revising a Northwest Coast Tradition
Green Grass, Running Water
Growing up Native American
Growing Up: Where the Partridge Drums Its Wings
Halfbreed
The Handbook of North American Indians, California
Headliner’s Island
Hands-on Latin American: Art Activities for All Ages
Hau Kola-Hello Friend
A Heart Full of Turquoise
Here Comes Tricky Rabbit!
Hiroshima No Pika
History of the Ojibway Nation
Home Country
Home to Medicine Mountain
Honour the sun
Horse Raid: An Arapaho Camp in the 1800s
House Made of Dawn
How the Birch Tree Got Its Stripes
How Chipmunk Got his Stripes
How to Draw Indian Arts and Crafts
How Eagle Got His Good Eyes
How the Indians Bought the Farm
How the Loon Lost Her Voice
How Magpie Got His Yellow Bill
How the Mouse Got Brown Teeth
How Raven Freed the Moon
How the Robin Got Its Red Breast: A Legend of the Sechelt People
How the Seasons Came: A North American Indian Folktale
How the Stars Fell Into the Sky
The Hunter and the Woodpecker
I Can’t Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam
If You Were At…The First Thanksgiving
I Knew Two Metis Women
Iktomi and the Buzzard
Iktomi and the Coyote
Iktomi and the Ducks
Iktomi Loses His Eyes
I Heard the Owl Call My Name
I’ll sing ‘til the day I die: Conversations with Tyendinaga Elders
The Illustrated History of the Chippewas of Nawah
in a vast dreaming
Indian Boyhood
Indian Cartography
Indian Crafts and Activity Book
Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains
The Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pennsylvania
The Indians’ Book
The Indian in His Wigwam
The Indian School
Indian School Days
Indian School: Teaching the White Man’s Way
Indian Shoes
In the Fifth World: Portrait of the Navajo Nation
Ininatig’s Gift of Sugar: Traditional Native Sugarmaking
Initiation
Into the Moon: Heart, Mind, Body, Soul
In Two Words: A Yup’ik Eskimo Family
Iron Horses
Isaac’s Dreamcatcher
Ishi: America’s Last Stone Age Indian
Ishi Rediscovered
Ishi’s Journey, from the Center to the Edge of the World: A Historical Novel about the Last Wild Indian in North America
Ishi: The Last of His People
Ishi’s Tale of Lizard
Ishi in Two Worlds: A Biography of the Last Wild Indian in North America
Island of Los Luggage
Is My Friend at Home? Pueblo Fireside Tales
Itch Like Crazy
It Could Always Be Worse
It’s a Family Thanksgiving
Jack Pine Fish Camp
James Bay Memories
Jason and the Sea Otter
Jason’s New Dugout Canoe
Jingle Dancer
The Journal of Julia Singing Bear
Jumping Mouse and the Great Mountain: A Native American Tale
“Just Talking About Ourselves”: Voices of Our Youth
Ka-ha-si and the Loon: An Eskimo Legend
Karok Myths
"Kaya" Series:
  • Changes for Kaya: A Story of Courage
  • Kaya's Escape! A Survival Story
  • Kaya's Hero: A Story of Giving
  • Kaya and Lone Dog: A Friendship Story
  • Kaya and the River Girl
  • Kaya Shows the Way: A Sister Story
  • Meet Kaya: An American Girl
Keepers of the Animals: Native American Stories and Wildlife Activities for Children
Keepers of the Earth: Native American Stories and Environmental Activities for Children
Keepers of Life: Discovering Plants through Native American Stories and Earth Activities for Children
The Killing of Chief Crazy Horse: Three Eyewitness Views by the Indian, Chief He Dog, the Indian-White, William Garnett, and the White Doctor, Valentine McGillycuddy
Kinaalda: A Navajo Girl Grows Up
Kokopelli and the Butterfly
Kokopelli’s Gift
Kokopelli, Drum in Belly
Kumak’s House: A Tale of the Far North
Ktunaxa Legends
Kwulasulwut: Stories from the Coast Salish
Kwulasulwut II: More Stories from the Coast Salish
Kyle’s Bath
Lakota and Dakota Animal Wisdom Stories
Lacrosse: The National Game of the Iroquois
Ladder to the Sky: How the Gift of Healing Came to the Ojibway Nation
Lakota Sioux Children and Elders Talk Together
Land of the Spotted Eagle
The Landing of the Pilgrims
Last Leaf First Snowflake to Fall
The Last Warrior
The Last Yahi: A Novel About Ishi
The Ledgerbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
The Legend of Jimmy Spoon
The Legend of Mexicatl
The Legend of the Lady Slipper
The Legend of Lady’s Slipper
The Legend of Leelanau
The Legend of the Loon
The Legend of Mackinac Island
The Legend of Sleeping Bear
The Legend of Spinoza, the Bear Who Speaks from the Heart
Legend of the White Buffalo Woman
Legends of the Iroquois
Lessons from Mother Earth
Lessons from Turtle Island: Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms
Less than Half, More than Whole
Let’s Be Indians!
Let’s Celebrate Thanksgiving
Lies to Live By
The Life and Death of Crazy Horse
The Light on the Tent Wall
Listen to the Night: Poems for the Animal Spirits of Mother Earth
Little Bear’s Vision Quest
Little Coyote Runs Away
The Little Duck/Sikhpsis
Little Eagle Lots of Owls
Little Firefly: An Algonquian Legend
A Little History of My Forest Life: An Indian-White Autobiography by Eliza Morrison
Little House on the Prairie
Little Voice
Little White Cabin
The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven
The Long March
Longwalker’s Journey: A Novel of the Choctaw Trail of Tears
Lord of the Animals: A Miwok Indian Creation Myth
Lost Bird of Wounded Knee: Spirit of the Lakota
The Lost Boy and the Monster
Luminaries of the Humble
Maata’s Journal
Maybe I Will Do Something: Seven Coyote Tales
Maii and Cousin Horned Toad
Mali Npnaqs: The Story of a Mean Little Old Lady
Mama, Do You Love Me?
Mama’s Little One
Manabozho’s Gifts: Three Chippewa Tales
The Manitous: The Spiritual World of the Ojibway
The Matchlock Gun
Mayers: A Yucatec Maya Family
Mayuk the Grizzly Bear
Meet Mindy: A Native Girl from the Southwest
Meet Naiche: A Native Boy from the Chesapeake bay Area
Meet Tricky Coyote!
Memory Songs
The Middle Five: Indian Schoolboys of the Omaha Tribe
Millie Cooper’s Ride: A True Story from History
Minik’s Story
Mink and Cloud
Mink and Grey Bird
Mink and Granny
Mink and Whale
Minuk: Ashes in the Pathway
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway
Missions of the Central Coast
Missions of the Inland Valleys
Missions of the Los Angeles Area
Missions of the Monterey Bay Area
Missions of the San Francisco Bay Area
Missions of the Southern Coast
Mohawk Trail
Montezuma and the Aztecs
Moon Mother: A Native American Creation Tale
Moonstick: The Seasons of the Sioux
The Moon, the Sun, and the Coyote
More Earthmaker’s Tales: North American Indian Stories About Earth Happenings
More Star Tales: North American Indian Stories about the Stars
Morning on the Lake
Morning Sun, Black Star: The Northern Cheyenne Indians and America’s Energy Crisis
The Morning the Sun Went Down
Mourt’s Relation: A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth
Murdo’s Story: A Legend from Northern Manitoba
“Mush-hole”: Memories of a Residential School
Muskrat Will Be Swimming
My Arctic 1, 2, 3
My Grandmother’s Cookie Jar
My Heart Is on the Ground: The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, a Sioux Girl, Carlisle Indian School, Pennsylvania, 1880
My Indian Boyhood
My Name is Seepeetza
My Navajo Sister
My People, the Sioux
Mystery of Coyote Canyon
Mystery of the Navajo Moon
Myths of the Cherokee
Myths and Legends of the Sioux
Nanabosho Dances
Nanabosho: How the Turtle Got Its Shell
Nanabosho, Soaring Eagle, and the Great Sturgeon
Nanobosho Steals Fire
Nanabosho and the Woodpecker
Native America: Portrait of the Peoples
Native American Culture Series: Arts and Crafts
Native American Culture Series: Child Reading
Native American Culture Series: Daily Life
Native American Culture Series: The European Invasion
Native American Culture Series: Spiritual Life
Native American Culture Series: Tribal Law
A Native American Feast
Native American Gardening: Stories, Projects, and Recipes for Families
Native American Picture Books of Change: The Art of Historic Children’s Editions
Native American Testimony
Native Americans
Native Americans in Children’s Literature
Native Americans: Projects, Games and Activities for Grades K-3
Native Americans: Projects, Games and Activities for Grades 4-6
Native North American Literature
The Naughty Little Rabbit and Old Man Coyote
Navajo ABC: A Dine Alphabet Book
Navajo Coyote Tales
Navajo Creation Myth: The Story of the Emergence
Navajo Long Walk (Armstrong)
Navajo Long Walk (Bruchac)
Navajo Stories of the Long Walk Period
Navajo: Visions and Voices Across the Mesa
Night Is Gone, Day Is Still Coming: Stories and Poems by American Indian Teens and Young Adults
The Night the White Deer Died
Nishnawbe: A Story of Indians in Michigan
No Borders
No Parole Today
Northern Lights: The Soccer Trails
Northwest Coast Indians
Northwoods Cradle Song: From a Menominee Lullaby
No Time to Say Goodbye: Children’s Stories of Kuper Island Residential School
Ocean Power: Poems from the Desert
Of Mother Earth and Father Sky: A Photographic Study of Navajo Cultures
Of Plymouth Plantation
Ojibwa Texts
The Ojibway Dream
Ojibway Family Life in Minnesota
Old Bag of Bones: A Coyote Tale
Old Enough
Old Father Storyteller
The Old Hogan
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims
One More Story: Contemporary Seneca Indian Tales of the Supernatural
On Mother’s Lap
On the Trail of Elder Brother: Gous’gap Stories of the Micmac Nation
On the Trail Made of Dawn: Native American Creation Stories
Orca’s Song
The Other Side of Nowhere
Our Journey
Outfoxing Coyote
Outlaws, Renegades and Saints: Diary of a Mixed-up Halfbreed
Pablo Remembers: The Fiesta of the Day of the Dead
Pah
Partial Recall: Photographs of Native North Americans
Pasquala: The Story of a California Indian Girl
The Path of the Quiet Elk
People of the Breaking Day
People of Salmon and Cedar
The People with Five Fingers
Photographs and Poems by Sioux Children
Pia Toya: A Goshute Indian Legend
The Pilgrims and Me
The Pilgrim’s First Thanksgiving
Pipaluk and the Whales
The Place at the Edge of the Earth
Plains Indians Diorama to Cut and Assemble
Pomo Basketmaking: A supreme art for the weaver
Popul Vuh
A Portrait of Spotted Deer’s Grandfather
Potlach: A Tsimshian Celebration
Power
Powwow
Powwow Summer: A Family Celebrates the Circle of Life
The Prince and the Salmon People
Protectors of the Land: An Environmental Journey to Understanding the Conservation Ethic
Pte Oyate: Buffalo Nations, Buffalo People
Pueblo Boy: Growing Up in Two Worlds
Pueblo Girls: Growing Up in Two Worlds
Pueblo Storyteller
Quest for the Eagle Feather
Questions and Swords: Folktales of the Zapatista Revolution
A Quick Brush of Wings
Quillworker: A Cheyenne Legend
Rachel’s Children
The Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge: A Chumash Legend
Rainbow Crow
A Rainbow at Night: The World in Words and Pictures by Navajo Children
Rain Is Not My Indian Name
Rainy’s Powwow
The Range Eternal
Raven and the Moon and The Oystercatcher: Two Haida Legends
Raven Goes Berrypicking
Raven Returns the Water
Raven and Snipe
Raven’s Gift
Raven’s Light: A Myth from the People of the Northwest Coast
The Raven Steals the Light
Raven: A Trickster Tale from the Pacific Northwest
A Really Good Brown Girl
Recovering the Word: Essays on Native American Literature
Red Hawk’s Account of Custer’s Last Battle
Red Hawk and the Sky Sisters: A Shawnee Legend
Red Flower Goes West
Red Indian Fair Book
Red Parka Mary
red woman with backward dyes
The Return of crazy horse
Rising Voices: Writings of Young Native Americans
A River Lost
Rolly’s Bear
The Rough-Face Girl
Runs With Horses
The Sacred Harvest: Ojibway Wild Rice Gathering
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes
Saanii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing
Salmon Boy
A Salmon for Simon
Salmon Summer
Sculpted Stones/Piedras Labradas
Seaman’s Journal: On the Trail with Lewis and Clark
The Sea Monster’s Secret
Searching for Chipeta: The Story of a Ute and Her People
The Second Bend in the River
The Secrets and Mysteries of the Cherokee Little People, Yunwi Tsunsdi
The Secret of the White Buffalo
Seeds of Struggle, Songs of Hope: Poetry of Emerging Youth y Sus Maestros del Movimeniento
Selu: Seeking the Corn Mother’s Wisdom
Seminole Children and Elders Talk Together
The Seven Fires: An Ojibway Prophecy
The Seven Visions of Bull Lodge as Told by His Daughter Garter Snake
Seya’s Song
Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer
Shingebiss: An Ojibwa Legend
Shooting Back from the Reservation: A Photographic View of Life by Native American Youth
The Sign of the Beaver
Sika and the Raven
Sing Down the Moon
Sing Down the Rain
The Sioux: Facts, Stories, Activities
Sitting Bull, Champion of the Sioux
Sitting Bull and His World
Skeleton Man
The Sketchbook of Thomas Blue Eagle
Skunny Wundy and other Indian Tales
SkySisters
The Snake that Lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Other Ohlone Stories
Soaring Spirits: Conversations with Native American Teens
Solar Storms
Soloman’s Tree
Son of Raven, Son of Deer: Fables of the Tse-Shaht People
Song of the Hermit Thrust: An Iroquois Legend
Song of Sedna
Songs from the Loom: A Navajo Girl Learns to Weave
Songs of Shiprock Fair
The Song Within My Heart
The Sound of Flutes
Speak to Me Words: Essays on Contemporary American Indian Poetry
Spider Spins a Story: Fourteen Legends from Native America
Spider Woman
The Spirit Line
Spirit of the Maya: A Boy Explores His People’s Mysterious Past
Spirit of the White Bison
Spirit Transformed: A Journey from Tree to Totem
Spirit Voices of Bones
Spotted Eagle and Black Crow: A Lakota Legend
Spotted Tail’s Folk: A History of the Brule Sioux
The Spring Celebration
Squanto and the First Thanksgiving
The Star Maiden
Star Tales: North American Indian Stories about the Stars
Stories of the Road Allowance People
The Story of Blue Elk
The Story of Colors/La Historia de los Colores
A Story of the Dreamcatcher
The Story of the First Thanksgiving
The Story of Jumping Mouse: A Native American Legend
The Story of the Pilgrims
A Story to Tell: Traditions of a Tlingit Community
The Storyteller’s Sourcebook
The Story of Thanksgiving (Bartlett)
The Story of Thanksgiving (Skarmeas)
Strong Hearts: Native American Visions and Voices
The Sugar Bush
Sunflower’s Promise: A Zuni Legend
Sunpainters: Eclipse of the Navajo Sun
Supper for Crow: A Northwest Coast Indian Tale
A Symphony of Whales
T’aal: The One who Takes Bad Children
The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote
Ten Little Rabbits
Testimony: Death of a Guatemalan Village
The Thanksgiving Beast Feast
Thanksgiving Fun Activity Book
Thanksgiving Day (Gibbons)
Thanksgiving Day (Rockwell)
Thanksgiving: A Native Perspective
The Thanksgiving Story
That Tricky Coyote!
Thunderwoman: A Mythic Novel of the Pueblos
The Truth about Sacajawea
There Still are Buffalo
They Dance in the Sky: Native American Star Myths
They Were Strong and Good
This Land is My Land
Those Tiny Bits of Beans
Thunder Bear and Ko: The Buffalo Nation and Nambe Pueblo
Time Among the Navajos: Traditional Lifeways on the Reservation
Tjatjakiymatchan (Coyote): A Legend from Carmel Valley
To Kill an Indian: Indian Views on the Last Days of Crazy Horse
To Live in Two Worlds: American Indian Youth Today
Tonweya and the Eagles and Other Lakota Tales
Totem Pole
Totem Pole Carving: Bringing a Log to Life
Truth and Bright Water
The Turkey Girl: A Zuni Cinderella Story
Turkey’s, Pilgrims, and Indian Corn
Turquoise Boy: A Navajo Legend
Turtle Island: Tales of the Algonquian Nation
Turtle Lung Woman’s Granddaughter
Turtle Meat and other Stories
Turtle’s Race with Beaver
Two Bad Boys: A Very Old Cherokee Tale
Two Bear Cubs: A Miwok Legend from California’s Yosemite Valley
Two Old Women: An Alaska Legend of Betrayal, Courage and Survival
Two Pairs of Shoes
Urban Voices: The Bay Area Indian Community
The Upstairs room
The Vanishing Race and Other Illusions: Photographs of Indians by Edward S. Curtis
Vatos
The Very First Americans
The Very First Thanksgiving Day
Voice of the Turtle: American Indian Literature 1900-1970
Waboseg (An Ojibwe story about Rabbits’ ears)
Waheenee: An Indian Girl’s Story
Wait for Me!
Walking the Choctaw Road
Walks in Beauty
Walk Two Moons
Waleye Warriors: An Effective Alliance Against Racism and for the Earth
War of the Eagles
Waterlily
Watership Down
We Are All Related: A Celebration of Our Cultural Heritage
We Are the Many: A Picture Book of American Indians
Weaving a California Tradition: A Native American Basketweaver
Weave Little Stars Into My Sleep: Native American Lullabies
Whale Brother
Whale Girl
When Beaver Was Very Great
When the Chenoo Howls: Native American Tales of Terror
When the Moon is Full: A Lunar Year
When the Rain Sings: Poems by Young Native Americans
When the World Ended, How Hummingbird Got Fire, How People Were Made
Where Courage Is Like a Wild Horse
Where Did You Get Your Moccasins
Where Only the Elders Go—Moon Lake Loon Lake
Where There Is No Name for Art: The Art of Tewa Pueblo Children
Where the Rivers Meet
Whispers Among the Mission Trail
Whispers from the First Californians: A Story of California’s First People
White Buffalo Woman: A Storybook Based on Indian Legend
White Wolf
who will tell my brother?
Why Buffalo Roam
Wild Rice and the Ojibway People
The Winter People
Winter Thunder: Retold Tales
Wisahkecahk Flies to the Moon
The Wish Wind
WolfStar
Women of the Struggle: Portraits and Testimony of Native American Women
Word Up! Hope for Youth Poetry
The World of Manabozho: Tales of the Chippewa Indians
The Worry Stone
Wounded Knee
Writing as Witness
The Year of Miss Agnes
Yonder Mountains: A Cherokee Legend
Yudonsi: A Tale from the Canyons
A Zuni Artist Looks at Frank Hamilton Cushing
Zuni Breadstuff
Zuni Children and Elders Talk Together
The Zunis: Self-Portrayals