Title

Portrayal of Native Americans in School History Textbooks, 1940 to Present

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

15-5-2019

End Date

15-5-2019

Abstract

This research paper examines the language used to discuss Native American history within U.S. history textbooks from the 1940s, 1970s and 2000s. It looks specifically at three eras of history that are commonly described within textbooks in relation to Native Americans: the Pre-Contact period; the Contact Period, when European conquerors were rushing to outdo each other and gather as much land as possible; and an event from the 1970s, the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupation of the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973. The paper explores how biased textbooks can be when dealing with the history of marginalized people and how the portrayal of certain peoples can work against understanding the complexities of history. The textbooks explored are: Amanda Hebeler’s manuscript, Indians of the Pacific Northwest (1941); David Erwin Harrell’s Unto A Good Land (1977); and Richard Nelson Current, et al, United States History: Search for Freedom (2005). Since there are decades between each of these publications, one would expect some progress in how Native Americans are treated, especially given the civil rights movement in the 1960s. This paper argues, however, that no such progress occurred. The history of marginalized people, in particular Native Americans, has been largely neglected in the telling of United States history within school textbooks.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Marji Morgan

Department/Program

History

Portrayal of Native Americans in School History Textbooks.pptx (3025 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Barabasz

Additional Files

Portrayal of Native Americans in School History Textbooks.pptx (3025 kB)
Slides for SOURCE 2019 presentation Barabasz

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May 15th, 12:00 AM May 15th, 12:00 AM

Portrayal of Native Americans in School History Textbooks, 1940 to Present

Ellensburg

This research paper examines the language used to discuss Native American history within U.S. history textbooks from the 1940s, 1970s and 2000s. It looks specifically at three eras of history that are commonly described within textbooks in relation to Native Americans: the Pre-Contact period; the Contact Period, when European conquerors were rushing to outdo each other and gather as much land as possible; and an event from the 1970s, the American Indian Movement (AIM) occupation of the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1973. The paper explores how biased textbooks can be when dealing with the history of marginalized people and how the portrayal of certain peoples can work against understanding the complexities of history. The textbooks explored are: Amanda Hebeler’s manuscript, Indians of the Pacific Northwest (1941); David Erwin Harrell’s Unto A Good Land (1977); and Richard Nelson Current, et al, United States History: Search for Freedom (2005). Since there are decades between each of these publications, one would expect some progress in how Native Americans are treated, especially given the civil rights movement in the 1960s. This paper argues, however, that no such progress occurred. The history of marginalized people, in particular Native Americans, has been largely neglected in the telling of United States history within school textbooks.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2019/Oralpres/8