The Negative Portrayal of Native Americans in Children’s Literature

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The Negative Portrayal of Native Americans in Children’s Literature

The American institution has raised countless generations with misconceptions and lies regarding various foreign cultures. During the 1950’s the educational system in America was given the responsibility of teaching children the horrors and injustices they would suffer if the "evil" communist took over the world. Schools taught students that communist wanted to take away music, apple pie, baseball, and anything else that Americans cherished. Students learned that it was best to believe in the righteous of America. The preceding discussion has much in common with the treatment that Native Americans have received from picture books in America.

The American society
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Native Americans are open to misrepresentation in several ways in picture books. First, the illustrator of the work can choose to portray all of the natives in their work as savage barbarians. The illustrator can also choose to display the native cultures of America as being the aggressors in conflicts, destroying homes or hunting white women and children. Another way that picture books can be used to reinforce the stereotypical view of Native Americans is the way in which the texts presents the actions of the indigenous people. Finally, the Native Americans in the text can be given limited or broken English as a means of conversation, thus giving the reader the impression that the Natives were all stupid and unintelligible.

The following is a summary and a critique of ten picture books that contain Native Americans in the story arc, some of the stories feature grotesque injustices to the Native American persona, while others show the humanity and value of these cultures.

1) Three Fools and a Horse:

Summary and Critique: "A long time back, the Foolish People lived on Two Dog Mountain. Most of the people knew nothing. Some knew a little more. But all were foolish" (Baker, 7). The preceding quote contains all of the information that the reader needs to understand about this tribe, the natives are stupid. The story centers around three Indians and their attempts to ride a horse that they

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