Reviews

Welcome to our Reviews Page! Over the years, Oyate has read and reviewed thousands of books, videos, maps, music, and other literature for and about American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, First Nations and Indigenous peoples.

We strive to bring you thoughtful reviews of this literature because we know it is so difficult for most people to select literature about Native peoples that portrays us in authentic, honest, and culturally appropriate ways. For several hundred years, literature about Native peoples has continued to be dominated by voices who do not represent us accurately or appropriately. Because there is so much fallacious material out there, many people – parents, teachers, and children alike – can get confused about what is accurate and what’s not.

Oyate makes it our mission to bring you literature that is accurate and appropriate. We subject every book to a panel of reviewers, who scrutinize its contents to ensure that it meets a high standard of quality. To learn more about our review process, please see our Resources page to get information about how to tell the difference between good and bad literature about Native peoples.

While we occasionally release volumes of our reviews, we have also made some of them available here. To learn when we’ll release the next volume of Oyate reviews, please feel free to join our mailing list.

 


Review: Shi-shi-etko

Shi-shi-etko is one of the finest examples of an age-appropriate lesson to teach children about a dark chapter in Native history. In vivid, tender prose, Campbell conveys for children the true impact of residential school policies for Indian communities in the United States and Canada.

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Review: Darkness Under the Water

As it stands, Darkness Under the Water is a travesty, a melodrama marketed specifically to young people in Vermont—including Abenaki young people—who will probably be told this is how it was.

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Review: Chicora and the Little People

The first Lumbee legend to be told in a children's picture book, this story teaches children the importance of honoring the wisdom of children and other "small" voices, and of being courageous in the face of riducule. 

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