Anthropology Outreach Office Smithsonian Institution


Elementary school explorations of Native American cultures too often focus on traditional arts and crafts--making tipis, totem poles, baskets, pottery, and bows and arrows. Unconscious stereotypes persist so that, in the minds of students, North American Indians and Eskimos still live as they did in the 1700s. Any real understanding of many different peoples with distinctive cultures never emerges. Fortunately, there are some publications and classroom materials that can help correct such biases as well as provide rich learning experiences. The reading level of these materials ranges from kindergarten through ninth grade.

Cobblestone Publishing produces four excellent publications for students, grades 4-10. Two of the publications contain articles on American Indians.

Cobblestone, The History Magazine for Young People.
Entire issues have focused on American Indians. Indexes available.

Faces, The Magazine about People.
Explores cultures and geography.

The other two magazines are Calliope, which covers world history, and Odyssey, which focuses on science.
Write: Cobblestone Publishing, Inc., 30 Grove St., Suite C, Peterborough, NH 03458, or call 1-800-821-0115, 603-924-7209. Website:

Other useful resources include:

American Indian Libraries Newsletter. Quarterly publication that contains reviews of books for children and adults. Subscription rates: $30 (libraries, institutions), $15 (individuals), $10 (students). Write: Joan Howland, Law Library, University of Minnesota, 229 19th Ave., South, Minneapolis, MT 55455;

American Indian Stereotypes in the World of Children by Arlene Hirschfelder, Paulette Fairbanks Molin, Yvonne Beamer, and Yvonne Wakim. 2nd ed. Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.

Council for Indian Education, 1240 Burlington Ave., Billings, MT 59102-4224; 406-248-3465 (MTWF, 1-5 p.m. Mtn. time). Request catalogue of American Indian publications for students. Email: website:

Kuipers, Barbara J. American Indian Reference Books for Children and Young Adults. 2nd ed. Libraries Unlimited, Inc., 1995.

"Resources for Selecting Fair and Accurate American Indian Books for Libraries, Schools, and Home."

Slapin, Beverly, and Seale, Doris. Through Indian Eyes: The Native Experience in Books for Children. 4th ed. American Indian Studies Center, University of California, 1998.

Stott, Jon C. Native Americans in Children's Literature. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx Press, 1995.

Native American websites:

WWW Virtual Library - American Indians:

Indians Country Today: Information and articles from the largest national native paper today:

Native American Print Media Resources: An extensive listing of newspapers and magazines publishing by or about Native Americans:



Last Updated: May, 2004