Monday, January 21, 2013

MLK's dream included Indians

This website has many resources to promote an accurate understanding of Indians when working with children:

Have you been following the Idle No More movement?  Protests are fascinating, and I have been learning a lot by following this one.  Here is a link describing the origins of the movement if you are unfamiliar with it.

For one, I have discovered that I am a huge fan of Northwest Coast art.  I especially like Andy Everson.  His images are clean, modern, with just enough traditional feel to make me know what I see - the spirit of the thing.  Here are links to his Facebook page and website.

He made this image:

Also, this rapper has some sweet pieces about the Idle no More movement:

My kids are part Yakima, I guess.  I have been told that they are decended from a chief that signed a treaty.  I saw a copy of the geneology around the time I was married.  I only know what I read online about it all, because my mother-in-law was raised white.  She was not even supposed to know that she was part Indian.  I can only imagine the whole story behind all this!  The only other thing I know is that the last name Hoffer was adopted spontaneously to cover up the lineage.

Environmentalism interests me, especially in the sense that my kids and future generations better learn from the mistakes of past generations or the human race will end up this video:

I read this book from the library called Through Indian Eyes: the Native Experience in Books for Children, and I realized that there was plenty of offensive content in my early education that did not make my understanding Native Americans correct.  I knew there were still Indians around, but I did not understand what racism against Indians looked like.  Now I think I have a better understanding of this, and it is important to me that my children know they are part Indian and also that this ok, just as their handedness, gender, sexuality, and the choices they make are ok. 

So today I saw on Facebook that the Sandy Hook Massacre was being touted as the largest shooting in American history... A meme reminded me that Wounded Knee was far worse...  My heart broke imagining the estimated 300 men, women and children that were massacred for fear of the ghost dance.  History came alive for me this morning.  I found this somewhat awkward flash website for the Wounded Knee Museum as a source to learn more about it.

Resources for Librarians:

American Indian Youth Literature Award

Publisher out of Canada:

Non-fiction for students and teachers:

Love the visual impact of these:



The biggest source of racism that I have encountered in library materials has been in kids craft books.  I am appalled that there are so many projects for children that mock Native American culture.  Please be very careful when planning activities for children. Do not invite them to do craft projects that would come across as offensive to children with Indian heritage! 
  • Implying all Indians wear feathered costumes? no! 
  • Crafts mimicing Indian handiwork? no!
  • Talking about traditions without citing a specific tribe? no!