July 09, 2006

Why Little Tree is so popular

Still more from A Lingering Miseducation:  Confronting the Legacy of Little Tree:In his essay, "The Education of Little Tree: What It Really Reveals About the Public Schools," Michael Marker explores the popularity of Little Tree in schools, particularly its use as a foundational text in multicultural education:

The message is perfectly clear: Indians are no longer the continent's indigenous people; they are only one of many colorful groups in the great American melting pot. Indians are just like the rest of us. They like to hunt, make moonshine, gather wild herbs in season, and have a close relationship with the earth. In short, they are a lot like the hill people in the Tennessee mountains, with Indian stuff added to their lives as a kind of cultural spice. (226)
Diversity issues merely become quaint color to a whitewashed American mythos, a national identity that depends upon obscuring the histories of people of color, women, and political and sexual minorities.


Hoka-shay-honaqut said...

I have never read "...Little Fraud". I am an Ojibway artist from Northern Ontario, Canada; so, perhaps it wasn't as available, here. But, I had heard of it growing up. I am amazed that the author's identity was not revealed until 1991 (per SAIL article). What does not amaze me is that entire genrations' perspectives on Native Americans are built on further lies.

Asa Earl 'Forrest' Carter;
KKK member, segregationist and Wallace speechwriter "turned Cherokee" to make his nut.

See Salon.com article


Rob said...

That's the trouble: The perspectives of entire generations are built on stereotypes. The
savage Indian
, the vanishing breed, etc. Hence the need for this website and blog as a corrective.