You might have missed the drama caused when Nancy Bo Flood was invited to join the “Indigenous Experience in Children’s Literature” panel. Native American children’s book blogger, Debbie Reese objected:
“As regular readers of AICL know, I’ve been studying the ways Native peoples are depicted in children’s literature for decades. In that time, I’ve come to know the work of many people who–like Flood–are not Native, but write books about Native peoples. Amongst that body of White writers, there are many instances in which the writer has done particularly egregious things.”
Her objection is well said. The United States was founded on Native American genocide, with their lands taken away, their treaties violated, and their cultural heritage stolen through forced a boarding school system. In my opinion, it’s not right that their stories are stolen or “retold” by non-Native Americans unless there is explicit permission from the specific tribe.
To the best of my ability, I make this Native American folklore list as part of my Folk Tales series with books by just Native American authors. What am I missing? Thanks for your help.
p.s. My other Folk Tales posts include:
Native American Folklore & Creation Stories by Native Americans
Beaver Steals Fire: A Salish Coyote Story told by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, illustrated by Sam Sandoval
“This story represents thousands of years of oral tradition. In Beaver Steals Fire, fire is a gift from the Creator brought by the animal beings for human beings who are yet to come.” from Acknowledgements
“For those who use this book in the classroom, this story should be read or discussed only during winter when snow in on the ground. The elders usually bring out the stories in November and put them away again when the snow is gone. It is said that snakes will come to those who do not follow this custom or that cold weather will come during the warm months.” from A Note to the Reader
Since I do not want to disrespect the Salish and Kootenai traditions, and this is July, I am not reading the book as snow is not on the ground here in Boston and I certainly don’t wish for cold weather to come sooner than it already does. Please enjoy this book at the first snowfall. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship & Freedom by Tim Tingle (a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma), illustrated by Jeanne Rorex Bridges (an artist of Cherokee ancestry)
Crossing Bok Chitto is a tribute to the Choctaws — and Cherokees and Creeks and Chickasaws and Seminoles — and Indians of every nation who aided the runaway people of bondage. from A Note on Choctaw Storytelling in the backmatter
In the days before the Trail of Tears, the river Bok Chitto was a boundary, separating the Choctaws from the Mississippi plantation owners. This river was the line between slavery and freedom for their slaves. When Martha Tom, a young Choctaw crossed the river in search of blackberries, she met Little Mo, a young black slave who helps her find her way home. Their friendship continued as the years passed, Martha Tom crossing Bok Chitto on her way to church and sitting with Little Mo’s family. When Little Mo’s mother was to be sold, Little Mo had a plan. His family, with the help of the Choctaws, would cross to freedom. [picture book, ages 4 and up]
Following the singing of the Treaty of the Dancing Rabbit Creek in September of 1830, the government forced thousands of Choctaws from their homes in Mississippi. The Choctaws began the trek to Indian Territory, thus becoming the first travelers on the Trail of Tears. from Choctaws Today: Two Properous Nations, One Strong People in the backmatter