Christine’s Master Post of Helpful Resources for Teaching About Natives

See?! Aren’t you glad you clicked? ;)

See?! Aren’t you glad you clicked? ;)

Before I share these resources, I would like to take a moment to acknowledge the teachers, librarians, curriculum experts, curators, authors, activists, etc. who have made this list possible. I am grateful to these folks, who are committed to sharing their knowledge, speaking their truths, and serving their communities. I would also like to thank the people who clicked on this link! Thank you for stopping by! I hope you find what you’re looking for. I’m grateful to you for being here, for spending time with these words, for entering this digital space with an open heart and a willingness to learn.

I wish you all warmth and light and guidance and abundance.

This is a compilation of articles, blogs, books, conversations, ideas, interviews, and more. In the creation of this master post, I strived to share a diversity of voices and backgrounds. I considered filing these resources into distinct categories, but as the list formed organically below, I decided to leave it this way. With this in mind, please feel free to scroll through, and to gravitate towards whichever resources call to you:

  • Indigenous Land Acknowledgments, Explained. This is a great article from Delilah Friedler, for Teen Vogue. The title is pretty self-explanatory!

  • American Indians in Children’s Literature. This is a blog founded and managed by Dr. Debbie Reese (Nambé Pueblo), with a focus on critical perspectives of Native representations in children’s literature. You will find in-depth discussions on a variety of topics here, including but not limited to: Do Natives qualify as “people of color”? Which beloved classic novels contain casual racism? Who are the Native authors and illustrators at work today?

  • The Pocahontas Paradox: A Cautionary Tale for Educators. This is an academic article from Dr. Cornel Pewewardy (Comanche-Kiowa). It was originally published in the Journal of Navajo Education, Fall/Winter 1996/97. It describes the pervasive, damaging stereotypes and colonial myths found in children’s media, specifically in the Disney film, Pocahontas.

  • The True Story of Pocahontas, as told by historian Camilla Townsend, who is an author and professor at Rutgers University, in an interview with; The True Story of Pocahontas, as told by Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk), who is an author and photojournalist, in Indian Country Today. Both accounts venture to separate fact from fiction, and it’s fascinating to view their different methodologies and perspectives here.

  • The ‘All My Relations’ Podcast. This podcast is hosted by Matika Wilbur (Swinomish and Tulalip) and Dr. Adrienne Keene (Cherokee Nation). I love this podcast. I love how warm and respectful Matika and Adrienne are with each other and their guests, even in moments of disagreement. So far, they have discussed topics such as food sovereignty, Native fashion and mascots, DNA and identity, the politicization of sacred sites, and much more.

  • Lessons from Turtle Island: Native Curriculum in Early Childhood Classrooms, by Guy W. Jones and Sally Moomaw (Redleaf Press, 2002). Although there is an emphasis on early childhood education in this book, its guiding principles and philosophies can be implemented across all grade levels.

  • The White Man’s Indian, by Robert F. Berkhofer, Jr. (Knopf/Vintage, 1978). This was one of my first assigned readings in grad school. I still return to it, from time to time. It’s an incredibly thorough examination of why and how anti-Native stereotypes and imagery were created, as an “ideological weapon in their subjugation” to Europeans and white Americans. Yikes.

  • An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz (Beacon Press, 2015). There is also a Young Readers Edition of this book, adapted by Dr. Debbie Reese and Jean Mendoza! This is an incredibly thorough and thoughtful meditation on this continent’s Indigenous nations and their interwoven histories.

And lastly, here are a few closing thoughts from me: Remember, use the present tense when you talk about Native Americans. (You will notice all of my books are written in the present tense. There is a reason for this!) Refer to tribes as tribal nations. Be as specific as possible, when you reference Native individuals and communities (i.e., it’s fine to call me “Christine Day, a Native American,” but “Christine Day, who is enrolled Upper Skagit,” is more specific to my citizenship/identity). Be wary of Native American fables and folklore. (Most books that contain “Native myths” are largely fabricated by non-Native writers.) Avoid stereotypical and redundant activities, such as crafting feathered headbands around Thanksgiving, or playing games reminiscent of “Cowboys vs. Indians” in gym classes. And support Native authors!