Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to Find Accurate & Authentic Stories

Integrating authentic materials is a critical piece to integrating Indian Education For All into the classroom. There are thousands of books and websites claiming to be Native American stories. A question that most educators ask is "Which ones can I rely on?" Here is an introductory list to help you decide on your selections.

The first site I would like to share with you is Oyate. Their books and resources are authentic and most are written by tribal members. I would like to highlight one of their books in particular: "A Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children, edited by Doris Seale and Beverly Slapin, AltaMira Press and Oyate, 2005. This book deals with the issue of cultural accuracy in books for children and evaluates hundreds of books for children and teenagers published from the early 1900s through 2004." - from Montana Office of Public Instruction, materials sent to school libraries.

This is a great resource for reviewing books that you currently use. They often recommend other books that might meet your curriculum goals.

Strengths of the website - Authentic, stories specific to individual tribes, resources to evaluate materials.
Weakness of the website - This site is a little cumbersome. There is no"shopping cart" to easily keep track of purchases. Note-they are hoping to upgrade their current site.

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