Fighting Stereotypes in Native America

Books being release with racist or badly interpreted information about minorities are nothing new. It is sad though, that even today writing such as these are not only being published, but they are being published AND calling themselves reviewed by experts. In the case of the book Blood Moon by John Sedwick, the author ignored proposed changes from TWO Native American scholars and then thanked them for their reviews of his book! The book does more than get facts wrong, it purports stereotypes as correct interpretation of behavior. As a member of the American Indian Library Association, I get a lot of concerning information from their listserv. American Indians face a lot of awful stereotypes in books that lean heavily on the “savage” trope. (“savage” is a racial slur in all its forms. It has been consistently used to put American Indians down for hundreds of years, even in official US documents. It is not a coll thing to call your friend after a vicious comeback. There are other words, like: vicious, barbaric and brutal.) As an American Indian, things like this make me so angry. We are consistently painted as two things, either the noble, everything has a spirit Disney cartoon of Pocahontas or the vicious “redman” with a lust for blood (and booze). And for a book to be released in 2018 with missing facts, and opinions doctored up to look like facts, so that an entire people (and by extension other Tribal Nations) are made to look blood thirsty, is grotesque. When one Nation is made to look bad, it hurts all Native Peoples because most Americans do not realize that we are completely separate nations with our own cultures, laws and governments.

There is an additional problem with this book. This book has an advertising budget. The only way to fight the misinformation of this book is by word of mouth, so please help.

This is the link to the post by Debbie Reese on the site American Indians in Children’s Literature.
Pictured Below: An Email I received from the AILA (American Indian Library Association listserv)

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