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Evaluation of the depiction of Native Americans in children's literature published in the 1950s

Abington-Pitre, Albertaeve Songbird Santiago
Scope and Method of Study: The methodology of content analysis was an aid in trying to determine what multicultural criteria was present in the children's literature books, which portrayed Native Americans published in the 1950s and still in use in five public libraries which serve Native Americans. The major focus of this study covered the following areas:
1. Quality children's literature that focuses on various cultures will help children learn acceptance, and tolerance regardless of their ethnic differences and eliminate cultural misconceptions and stereotyping previously learned.
2. The researcher conducted an evaluation of multicultural literature found in five Oklahoma public libraries identified as portraying Native Americans in children's literature published in the 1950s.
Findings and Conclusions: Looking at the total frequency of all six books, the criteria category which appeared the most was Characterization/Stereotyping (n=724) closely followed by inappropriate Language/Lexicon (n=683) and the criterion which appeared the least was Historical Inaccuracy (n=186), Cultural Inauthenticity (n=227) and Other (n=24). When examining the frequency in which Language/Lexicon found in Tecumseh: Destiny's Warrior criteria "Were Indian's labeled friendly or unfriendly" (n=115) and the least in Winged Moccasins: The story of Sacajawea (n=20). However, Characterization/ Stereotyping the criterion "Did characters show characterization or stereotyping" appeared the most in Winged Moccasins: The story of Sacajawea (n=145) and found the least in Rifles for Watie (n=4). Due to their having the lowest number of historical inaccuracies Winged Moccasins: The story of Sacajawea (n=14) and Rifles for Watie (n=35) were the only two books that the raters would recommend for children; the other books were found to be more suitable for adults.