Is this How We Should Educate Children About Native Culture?

By Paul G on December 31, 2013
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During this time of year elementary schools have lessons to teach children about Native culture.  Many times these lessons use stereotypical songs, crafts, and outfits.

A school in Florida had High School students teach PreK and Kingergarten’ers about Native American culture with a “Pow Wow”.

You can watch the video of this event below.  On Youtube there are now over 100 comments about this video.

Is this How We Should Educate Children About Native Culture?

It’s not just schools however.

In this viral video, you can see that a dance school dressed young children as Chiefs for a recital.

How do we change this?


TOPICS: Blog, Featured, Native American Culture

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30 Responses to “Is this How We Should Educate Children About Native Culture?”

  1. Paula Landua says:

    This is repulsive! Nothing like teaching lies about Native American Indians to young children in the schools. Nothing about this is Native correct. If they want their children to learn the truth, invite Native Americans to come and teach them. I have nothing, absolutely nothing good to say about the choices made by those in authority or the teachers of this school. They should apologize and invite real Natives to come and correct the minds of these young children with the truths about Native clothing worn at Ceremonies, Pow wows and also Native Culture.

  2. Ashish says:

    Transform “Native Culture” education from a once-a-year gimmick like this into a serious and lengthy topic of study…if not the entire child’s education.

    Envelop them in the native ways: take them on nature walks, camping, gardening and farming, prepare clothes, weaving, cooking, all in the native way.

    Teach native songs, stories, and dances.

    And, if the school has no trouble promoting non-vegetarianism as “put the turkey in my belly”, then teach the children how to hunt & fish using native tools.

    All of this can happen if we re-introduce the native culture back into the “mainstream”, free from the confines of Reservation life and wholly woven into our present day world, which so desperately needs it.

    With a positive message, rooted in nature and love, given to our children, our land, water, and air can be saved.

  3. Tracy Beeler says:

    I could not even finish watching this.

  4. Sharday says:

    Wow, that is offensive.

  5. Katelyn says:

    As a fellow white person I don’t understand. I would never do this. I would never go to this. I can’t even comprehend this.

  6. ellen etzler says:

    Insulting as well as freaky

  7. Donna says:

    I am only 1/3 Native American yet find this very offensive, I would not allow my children to attend school on the day this travesty was performed!
    And you can bet the school officials would be hearing my thoughts on this.

  8. Jim Croy says:

    It doesn’t matter what race you are, this is beyond ignorance and disrespect of any culture. Someone however should go and teach what is really wrong about this and what the right things are. Teach them not in anger even though this is incredibly angering. They should teach about all races because it affects us all.

  9. Cheryl says:

    this is not even pretending to get it right….they could at least research better instead of making it up and insulting our ancestors……

  10. Alice Voyles says:

    I think this is very degrading not only to the Indians but the white people too. If you have never been to a Pow Wow, you should go one time, it not only is spell binding it makes me very proud of my Indian Heritage.Something like this happening in school makes me very ashamed of my white heritage.

  11. VAUNITA BABB says:

    THAT WAS VERY EMBARESSING….SOMEONE NEED TO SEND THOSE KIDS A TAPING OF A REAL POW-WOW….AS WELL AS THE OLDER KIDS…..THIS CAN NOT CONTUNUE TO GO ON….

  12. Mike Körber says:

    Wenn sie lernen sollten , dann sollten sie es von den Ureinwohnern, den Native. Aber nicht um sie zu Imitieren , sondern um ihre Wurzeln wieder zu finden . Ihre wurzeln in Europa oder Asien oder wo immer ihre Vorfahren herkommen. Sie sollen Liebe, Zusammenhalt, Respeckt , ein verständniss für die Natur und für all diese Kulturen entwickeln.
    Es würde keinem Amerikan Native einfallen sich als Kelte , Franke , Bojer oder Gote, Suebe oder Pikte zu verkleiden . Das sind unsere Natives unsere Kultur die verloren gegangen ist , die wir vergessen haben auch unsere Götter und Geister und unsere Totems . Lernen ja von den Native , aber nicht so , alleine diese Bilder sind Spott, das Video schade , Niveaulos. Und erschreckend.

  13. that native guy says:

    no…. this is wrong. sure intentions were good but with no attempt to stray from the stereotypical concept, this could have prevented if you had natives teaching about natives.and done it properly,

  14. Crystal says:

    This is beyond sad..! Puts a pain in my heart that any one would show this to young children.. Have we not learned from the past..? The truth is out there they should be teaching that. I think the teachers who put this on should A. Lose their jobs.. Or B. go to the local Rez talk to the elders.. This shows our stuggel continues..! This would never be done to protray any other race why is it ok for them to disrespect the real founding fathers of this land.. We were 500 nations strong.. Just sad.. :(..

  15. Tonya says:

    WOW that is nothing but disrespect and I would not have let one of my children to go to some thing that shows nothing but disrespect to the Native American people if this took place when my children was in school and I darn sure would never ever allow one of my grand children to sit and watch this I do however take my grand children to REAL POW WOW’S so for them to see this they would already know that this is not how it’s done and the school should be confronted about this sad display how the Native American’s really are the schools should teach the truth,,,,What B.S.

  16. Kris Steinke says:

    This is SOOOOO DISRESPECTFUL IN SOOOOO MANY WAYS! Why can’t chamooks learn respect? And why would you teach your children this racsist crap? To be disliked and not trusted like you? I believe the Creator looks at this and WILL deal with it. Mother Earth is already trying to be rid of the human race because of people’s un -willingness to treat her with more respect! And here come the stereotypes again! Teaching children this way is Definitely WRONG!

  17. Eileen Keyes says:

    That video is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m lost for any other words to describe it.

  18. Travis Pankey, says:

    Who in their wright mind thought this would be permissible to perform such crap. I can’t believe anyone would even conceder this despicable display as Native culture. I have gone to the schools and taught children, and have never worn regalia. I have took my hand drum and maybe a flute to play and sing a song for them. But for the most part I always want them to know we are no different as anyone else. I tell the truth of what has happened and sometimes not to the satisfaction of some of the teachers who ask me to come. Some things they don’t want the children to know I guess, but never the less they must know. I want them to see that we as mixed bloods and full bloods alike are just human beings, just what we are taught as children. This crap is shameful, and to the point I’m embarrassed for their stupidity, and ignorance. To think they think they are wright in doing this, and allowing their ignorance to be seen in such away. I guess there is no hope for the white man and their European culture, that comes with stupidity.

  19. Rose dempsey says:

    Although disrespectful of Native Americans, this just shows the pathetic “education” children are receiving nowadays, no wonder our kids are fast becoming less educated than third world countries.

  20. Rick says:

    WTH if they done one for black history the whole world would stop and the school would be shut down VERY OFFENSIVE AND DISRESPECTFUL

  21. cheyenne says:

    Lets See, Words that will express my feelings?..Disgusting, Horrid, disgraceful. Yet Typical….Maybe they thought they were doing the right thing …(things that make you go Hmmmmm)..BUT, how hard would it have been to have contacted anyone in the Native American Community and invited them to come and share our way of life, Our History. We’re a proud People and we do share our stories…I did not watch it to the end. Hurts my soul……..

  22. Desiree Nicholas says:

    THIS IS SO IGNORANT ! I’M HALF NATIVE AMERICAN & TAKE A VELOCITY OF OFFENCE TO THIS !IT’S NOT RIGHT/ACCURATE ! IF YOU ACTUALLY CAME TO ONE OF OUR POW WOW’S YOU’D FEEL MORE SPIRIT, LOVE,COMPASSION,& CULTURED ! YOU’D SEE THIS VIDEO IS BEYOND FALSE & IGNORANT ! YOU’D SEE HOW MUCH BETTER & DIFFERENT OUR CELEBRATIONS ARE ,COMPARED TO THIS VIDEO.IT’S PEOPLE LIKE THEM IN THIS VIDEO THAT GIVE US NATIVE AMERICAN’S BAD REPUTATIONS ! WE’RE NOTHING LIKE WHAT YOU SEE IN THIS VIDEO. YES WE HAVE SHAWLS/RAGALIA’S , TEE-PEE’S, FURS,BONE JEWELRY, DREAM CATCHERS ,BASKETS, BEADINGS, TRADITIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN FOOD,& MOCASIN’S . . . BUT WE’RE FAR FROM WHAT YOU SEE HERE IN THIS DISRESPECTFUL VIDEO.

  23. David says:

    Were my eyes fooling me, or my ears playing a joke on me?

  24. Jacek with Polish. says:

    This is the “white” America, fight for their identity and culture. Jacek with Polish.
    To jest “biała” Ameryka, walczcie o swoją tożsamość, kulturę. Jacek z Polski

  25. LightFeather says:

    Hmmmmm teach the children what the educators don’t even know called Truth. Start with teaching the ones who teach to walk first in learning with their spirits ears so they may then stand as a teacher.

  26. Snowdove says:

    All those involved in this atrocious video should feel great shame. This is a despicable act against our Ancestors, all Native People; to our Culture and way of life! Get your facts straight, all who call themselves educators and teachers! You teach these white youth nothing but lies and how to make a mockery of a strong and proud People! To my Native Brothers and Sisters, to all others, I implore you to stand up and speak out against this heinous act! We must put an end to this mockery and degradation. There are many Proud Traditional Native People in your state who would be happy to educate all in the correct ways of our culture. Reach out to them..educate and teach the TRUTH about our culture..STOP THE LIES AND DEGRADING DEPICTION OF THE NATIVE PEOPLE!!

  27. kellyanquoe says:

    anger will not stop this. education has had some affect as weve seen with mascots. many do not live with or near indun people. effecting mass opinion has dissipated since the 1970′s. removing it from youtube will not stop it either. you all know what people like this are interested in and many of you participate in the same life-styles. we will keep on trying…

  28. luvnature98 says:

    I couldn’t watch it either. Doesn’t seem like they are trying to “teach” anything…looks more like making fun of. I am Native and this is very offensive.

  29. Randy 'Black Bear' Roley says:

    Hello everyone, I am glad to see that my petition has made it here and the video was removed finally. I just updated the petition a bit. Now, what I still want is some type of public apology from the people who were responsible for creating this repulsive video and had insulted our culture and our people. In addition to this I think the petition needs to aim at the Department of Education or whoever is responsible to make sure the Schools in America are really doing their job or not. This is all new to be so I am learning about how these petitions work. Here is the current status of the Petition if interested and if you did not sign it yet…Here it is: https://www.change.org/petitions/the-bchs-history-club-i-want-the-video-to-be-removed-and-for-the-school-to-publiclly-appologize-to-all-native-american-tribes-who-they-have-insulted-due-to-ignorance Like I had mentioned: The Video is removed! Which is good but not enough!

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