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Stories of the American Indian Experience

By Angeline P. Hoffman, White Mountain Apache

The stories of Indigenous people reflect both the material and deeper aspects of our culture. These deeper aspects include traditions such as oral storytelling, considered a spiritual practice. Oral tradition is used to tell certain stories the way they should be told, with an impassioned audience and storyteller. These stories are defined as a body of literary works with standard procedures that have been preserved for many generations through performance. This structure helps listeners create awareness of their own cultural perspective. It’s important to understand the place of oral literature in Indigenous culture and to translate those stories into print so they can be shared. The weaving together of oral literacy with writing reveals unique features and values within many different cultures. This significance of the vocal and textual language is shown in several of this week’s suggested books that have been adapted from oral to print. Other books selected demonstrate culture, tradition, genocide, abuse and heroism, and help to honor the American Indian Experience.

American Indian Experience Continue reading

Indigenous Children’s Literature: Stories Matter Part IV

By Angeline P. Hoffman, White Mountain Apache Reservation

native-american-264942_1280Stories of Indigenous people matter, the stories influence how we think about ourselves, where we come from and formulate the way in which we think about cultural perspectives and people.

In looking at storytelling, a sub-theme emerged: ethics and teaching. These specific ideas are utilized by storytellers’ characters to convey these particular values. Teaching is very important in today’s Native American society. Teaching of traditions, cultures and sense of place are practices that are passed on through Continue reading