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Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Thankful but Mindful

heart shaped cloud
I found a thoughtful piece in American Indians in Children's Literature the other day--an open letter to teachers about some of the images that are so popular at this time of year, but are actually inaccurate and ultimately harmful in perpetuating stereotypes about Indians.  I think librarians need this information, too, so I'm linking to it here.

I remember nervously approaching my daughter's kindergarten teacher about what seemed like problematic depictions and descriptions of the first Thanksgiving, and encounters between First Nation people and Pilgrims.  If you have teachers coming to the library for information, or if you are doing displays or craft programs or putting out coloring sheets related to Thanksgiving, please pay attention to what you are providing--make sure it is accurate!  Look for reviews and information--and just skip the coloring sheets with pictures of happy Native Americans smiling at a table with the Pilgrims.  For Thanksgiving, focus instead on what people are THANKFUL for--there are lots of potential art projects and displays to build around that topic!  Debbie Reese has some other excellent suggestions, too, on her blog.