Purpose: To ensure educators working with American Indian students are aware of past efforts at improving the academic achievement of these students, the limited success of these efforts, and current federally funded Indian education programs
Guideline: While American Indian students need to read and learn about the wider, non-Indian world, they also need to see people like themselves and other American Indians accurately portrayed in what they read. Unfortunately, many children's books, even some recent ones, often portray American Indians in a stereotypical or negative fashion. Educators should seek out relevant reading materials for native students.
This Education Northwest resource provides "140 culturally relevant stories with teacher's guides written by Indian authors and illustrated by Indian artists that offer a unique supplementary reading and language development program for Indian and non-Indian children."
This link to a University of Texas' School of Information website offering resources on native literature.
The resource provides a list of recommended American Indian children's books compiled by Rose Marie Johnson & Rose M. McGuire, Denver Public Schools, July 2006. With each book the list identifies a suggested grade level, tribe of origin, genre, possible teaching points, question and discussion points and a brief overview.
This link is to a blog maintained by Debbie Reese (NambÃ© Pueblo) who teaches at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. It offers critical discussions of American Indians in children's books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society-at-large.
In this article Dr. Jon Reyhner, Northern Arizona University, takes a look at how native students can enhance their tribal and personal sovereignty through reading and writing.
As noted at its website, "Oyate is a Native organization working to see that native Indian lives and histories are portrayed honestly, and so that all people will know that their stories belong to the respective tribes." The resource offers reviews and recommendations on Indian children's books.
Authored by Dr. Jon Reyhner, Northern Arizona University, "this digest summarizes ways to help young American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) children become fluent readers--an essential skill if they are to succeed in school."