Established in 2006 and home to the critical work of Nambe Pueblo critic Dr. Debbie Reese, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) "provides critical perspectives and analysis of indigenous peoples in children's and young adult books, the school curriculum, popular culture, and society."
Across Canada, June is recognized as Indigenous History Month, but the tradition of (Un)History Month at UBC is a celebration and acknowledgement of the importance of Indigenous Peoples – not only in history – but in the present and future.
While there has been significant growth in the availability of Indigenous literature for children and young adults over the last ten years, it can still be challenging to find authentic, high-quality, and non-appropriative texts in bookstores and libraries. This page offers a variety of tools for evaluating Indigenous children's materials.
To find materials that evaluate children's literature, try topic keywords such as "History and criticism" or "Book reviews".
"Aboriginal" AND “Children’s literature”
“Children’s books” AND “Book reviews”
"Juvenile literature" AND "Evaluations"
"Children's fiction" AND "History and criticism"
Find Indigenous children's literature book reviews in the article indexes by searching "book reviews". To find book review indexes try looking through the subject heading Children's literature--Book reviews on the UBC Library Catalogue to find reviews, periodicals, and more.
Reviews for specific books can be found by entering book titles into the Summon search engine (also referred to as the general search) and filter by Content Type: Book Review.
Established in 2006, American Indians in Children's Literature (AICL) provides critical perspectives and analysis of Indigenous Peoples in children's and young adult books, in the school curriculum, and in popular culture, and society. Scroll down for links to book reviews, Native media, and more.
While this publication was primarily developed for elementary school teachers, the information about the evaluation process can be relevant in other contexts. See pages 7-8 for "The Resource Evaluation Process," and pp. 81-84 for an evaluation form.
Since 2000, Oyate has "continued to compile and clarify criteria to help us discern honest portrayals of our peoples in children’s books containing retellings of traditional Indian stories, as well as contemporary stories and representations of Native peoples".
Designed as a means of assessing materials to find teaching and learning resources that are "culturally authentic, historically accurate and respectful of the diversity of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people’s identities and experiences", this document by the Western and Northern Canadian Protocol for Collaboration in Basic Education features four inter-related checklists for assessing Indigenous resources.
A professional learning resource that supports educators to grow in their collective understanding of Truth and Reconciliation, developed by Alberta Regional Professional Development Consortia (ARPDC).
Engaging Youth With Indigenous Materials in Libraries and Classrooms
"Assessing and incorporating teaching and learning resources by and about First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples is critical for librarians, educators and parents. Awareness of diverse epistemologies, notions of cultural authenticity and historical accuracy, and the influence of colonialism, are essential when considering books, films and interactive media for library and classroom collections. This panel will address challenges facing Indigenous and non-Indigenous librarians, educators and parents when drawing upon materials representing Indigenous peoples and cultures. They will offer insights about such issues as cultural appropriation, stereotypes, addressing colonialism and what to do with dated resources."
Convener: Jo-Anne Naslund, UBC Education Library
Moderator: Lisa P. Nathan, Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the First Nations Curriculum Concentration, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies
Panelists: Debra Martel, Associate Director, First Nations House of Learning, Jan Hare, Associate Professor, Department of Language and Literacy Education, Allison Taylor-McBryde, Adjunct Professor, School of Library, Archival and Information Studies