We are all familar with the typical stereotypes of Native Americans. We
display those promoted by our government prominantly on these pages. The
portrait on the Indian Head nickel was largely responsible for the fact
that Indians could not get jobs in Hollywood to play Indian parts. They did
not look Indian enough! (See the essay by Joseph Marshall III, in
On Behalf of the Wolf and the First Peoples, Two Left Moccasins: I
Become a Member of the Cinema Tribe.) We are so used to seeing the
Land o'Lakes Indian maiden, the various school mascots, mascots of
professional sports teams, etc. that we forget what effect these images have
on the ideas we have of the people they represent, or on the personal
image of the children of these people as they must learn to live in this
society. In this regard, we strongly suggest that you read the commentary
on this issue by Paul D. Gonzales of San Ildefonso Pueblo.
Here we present a reading list for those who would like to learn about
real Native Americans, from Native American writers writing both
fiction and non-fiction. We hope you will gain a far better sense of
who the people who populated this continent before the invasion that
began in 1492 occured.
We will also include a page of links to Web sites which continue the
long tradition of Native American stereotypes.
Teachers: Please read the reviews of My Heart Is On the Ground:
The Diary of Nannie Little Rose, A Sioux Girl, and The Girl Who Chased Away Sorrow: The Diary of Sarah
Nita, a Navajo Girl. New Mexico, 1864, from the Dear America series, Scholastic Books, as well as other popular children's books.