Questions and Answer Session with Dr. Debbie Reese
Dr. Debbie Reese, tribally enrolled at Nambé Pueblo, has studied representations of Native peoples in children's and young adult books for over thirty years. Her book chapters, journal articles, and professional writings are taught in education, library science, and English courses across the United States and Canada. Her blog, "American Indians in Children's Literature" ("AICL"), is widely recognized as a go-to resource for writers, reviewers, editors, teachers, librarians, and parents. In July of 2019, Beacon Press published a young readers’ edition of An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz adapted by Dr. Reese and her longtime friend and colleague, Dr. Jean Mendoza.
Dr. Reese delivered the keynote address for Dignity and Justice for All: Stories of Protest, Resistance and Change, the JFK Presidential Library and Museum's 2021 children's literature conference for teachers of grades 3 - 8 and school librarians. Listen to Dr. Reese's responses to selected questions from conference attendees.
Transcript of Q and A with Dr. Debbie Reese
Conference Attendee: What is the difference in terms between Native Americans and American Indians? I'm wondering if you could address that, and which people prefer, or what-- how do you think about that?
Conference Attendee: I am wondering if you could talk a little bit about if there's a place for having students do this critical analysis of the books that we have in our classroom? Or if it's better to just clear out all the problematic books and replace them?
Conference Attendee: Do you think social media movements are positively influencing the production and promotion of diverse books?
Conference Attendee: Are there other resources for people, and maybe adult resources, that we can use to start diving into some of this to teach ourselves or to unlearn things we know? What other resources would you recommend?
Conference Attendee: Do you have recommendations about how to teach elementary students about Native American history across different tribes, and the injustices among them by the growing US, without making them feel ashamed of themselves or their own heritage? Finding the right balance can be difficult.
Best Books - Recommendations from the "American Indian Children's Literature" ("AICL") Blog
Article: Critical Indigenous Literacies by Dr. Debbie Reese
Tips for Teachers: Developing Instructional Materials about American Indians Prepared by Dr. Debbie Reese and Dr. Jean Mendoza Or access on the American Indians in Children’s Literature Blog (AICL)