September 22, 2008

I isn't for Indian

Alphabet materials with "I is for Indian"A friend wrote to me yesterday, telling me of a school-sanctioned alphabet program that has "I is for Indian" materials. The program is called "Sunform Alphabet." Produced by Sundburg Learning Systems, based in Illinois, it is not an old item. The copyright is 1991.

For decades, educators have written about why "I is for Indian" is inappropriate. While I can't think of a recent alphabet book that has that sort of thing in it, there are older ones that still circulate. One example is Alligators All Around. With the brilliant and beautiful alphabet books published these days, those older ones with stereotypical images of Indians are being displaced. That is progress.
(Excerpted from Debbie Reese's American Indians in Children's Literature, 9/15/08.)

Comment:  For more on the subject, see The Best Indian Books.

Below:  I is for "Imitating Indians" in Alligators All Around.

1 comment:

Bloodhound said...

I love this book, but it hurts my heart that this is a part of it. It sullies it for me.