December 10, 2007

Educating readers about "redskins"

An e-mail I received in 2002:Hello Mr. Schmidt

I am writing from Venezuela, South America. I found this site searching for the word redskin. Yesterday my daugther had a homework to investigate about american natives, including North, Central and South America and the Caribbean Sea. She had no problem with Incas, Aztecs and Caribes. But her teacher's list has Pieles Rojas (Spanish for redskins). We thought that it was a valid word that designates a family of Northamerican indians that live in the northeast (eg Iroquies), assuming that it was applied for using red clay to paint their faces for battles. That was what we knew from the Hollywood movies and TV series. She searched in Ms-Encarta both Spanish and English, also in the Britannica Encyclopedia, all kind of dictionaries both languages. I did not suspect all these arguments against the use of the word redskin. She was not satisfied about the results and asked me to search thru Internet. Now, I have to explain her about all the implications of the word.

I appreciate the information I found in this site.

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