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DOUBLE TAB TO ZOOM ON PHONE OR TABLET the children change as they were exposed to more and more images of Native peoples in the world today, I became convinced that teachers must introduce children to high-quality books and materials from many cultures. This is a critical means to broaden their per- spectives and counter the many stereotypes that still exist in society. The children we teach today are growing up in a multicultural world. We must not miss the opportunity we have to help them regard all people positively. Problems in Today’s Classrooms The educational community has yet to deal with problems related to how Native American cultures and peoples are represented, or omitted, from the curriculum in our schools. While interest in multicultural education contin- ues, issues such as the blatant stereotyping of Native peoples within schools, and their almost total exclusion from curriculum materials, do not even make it to the table to be discussed. Several years ago, when Sally asked her son’s literature teacher if her class would be reading any material written by Native American authors, the teacher replied that there were no Native American authors! A social studies teacher volunteered that the students would gain an Indian perspective when they read Chief Seattle’s speech (given in 1854). Since the class was currently studying the French and Indian War (1754–63), it would seem that the teacher either was unaware of the involvement of American Indians in that conflict or felt their contribution to history was too insignificant to invite study until the middle part of the nineteenth century. If our teachers remain so ignorant about the role of Native peoples in the entire history of our country, how will non-Native children gain any perspec- tive on the problems that remain to this day? Problems related to the portrayal of Native American peoples also abound within the early childhood field. While teachers may pay some attention to including African American curriculum materials in their classrooms, little or no thought is given to Native cultures. We have identified four areas of concern with current practices in the early childhood field: 1. Omission of Native American materials from the curriculum 2. Inaccurate portrayals or information in the curriculum 3. Stereotyping of Native American peoples 4. Cultural insensitivity Chapter 1: Native American Issues in Early Childhood Education § 7 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL