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If you had 2-3 sentences in which to tell a preschooler about Native Americans, what would you say? This is for a blurb that is going on the bottom of a coloring page for my three and four year old kids.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/notes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="notes">:<br><br>
I am really interested to see everyone's responses. I don't know if this is what you're looking for but I've tried to tell the kids a little about the history in a way that builds respect for American Indians without making them seem foreign or weird to them. I focus on the elements like how much they helped the Pilgrims and how smart they were about nature. We're starting there. The rest will come in time.
 

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Hmmm. maybe something like, the first people of America, or maybe you could localize it. Like depending where you live, maybe you could say a blurb about the original tribe that lived there. And how they appreciated the land and animals.<br><br>
When I was a younger, I was so mad for the American Indians about what white people/expansion had done to them. I swore that when I was old enough to drive, I was going to get this bumper sticker that said, "Plymouth Rock: Birthplace of pollution." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/innocent.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="shy"><br>
I was a rebellious pre teen then, and thought that was cool. I know thats awful.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">:
 

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Native Americans were the people who lived in the Americas before the Europeans came.<br><br>
There were many different tribes and cultures and many different languages.<br><br>
They were misunderstood and often mistreated by the Europeans when they came.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7347988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Native Americans were the people who lived in the Americas before the Europeans came.<br><br>
There were many different tribes and cultures and many different languages.<br><br>
They were misunderstood and often mistreated by the Europeans when they came.</div>
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Very nice, i like that!
 

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Though on second thought the last line needs to be in active voice, not passive voice (English-speaking preschoolers don't do well with passive voice -- they tend to think that the first noun phrase is the actor and we definitely don't want them to get this backwards!. I guess the European American in me was trying to avoid responsibility!)<br><br>
So, my revised version is:<br>
Native Americans were the people who lived in the Americas before the Europeans came.<br><br>
There were many different tribes and cultures and they had many different languages.<br><br>
The Europeans often misunderstood and mistreated the Native Americans when they came into contact with each other.
 

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I would suggest making it clear they're still around, not just "were here."<br><br>
I was rather shocked one time when my daughter insisted that a child in her kindy class could not be native american on the basis that they only lived in the olden days....
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammastar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363022"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I would suggest making it clear they're still around, not just "were here."<br><br>
I was rather shocked one time when my daughter insisted that a child in her kindy class could not be native american on the basis that they only lived in the olden days....</div>
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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/yeahthat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="yeah that">:<br><br>
I've also noticed my kids saying things like "American Indians eat corn and squash and wear beaver pelts...." in the present tense. I always try to talk to them... that while yes some tribes DID eat those foods, many people decended from those ancestors eat what we eat, live where we live, wear what we wear now, just like we don't eat what OUR ancestors used to eat or wear Pilgrim suits or whatever. But I do feel like I'm walking the line, like I don't want to make it seem like the cultural differences have been lost, like everyone's a watered down American, that there aren't differences. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/dizzy.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Dizzy">:<br><br>
This thread is pissing me off. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> I HATE the way kids are taught about American history and about native peoples. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/crap.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="crap"> My kids' nursery school does such a crappy job of it, and they pride themselves on being forward-thinking and PC... it's kind of their claim to fame. Yet there they are telling my kids American Indians WEAR headdresses or EAT nuts and squash or LIVE in tee-pees. WTF?????
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7347988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Native Americans were the people who lived in the Americas before the Europeans came.</div>
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But they still live here, and by phrasing it that way, it sounds like they are gone.<br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LynnS6</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7347988"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">There were many different tribes and cultures and many different languages.<br><br>
They were misunderstood and often mistreated by the Europeans when they came.</div>
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Again, using the past tense does them an injustice, as they are still alive and still struggling, for the most part.
 

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Native Americans are the Indigenous People's of this continent. They consist of many different tribes, languages, and beliefs.<br><br>
That would be a good jumping off point, as it is not negative and allows for questions and answers and learning more, kwim?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaInTheBoonies</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363284"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Native Americans are the Indigenous People's of this continent. They consist of many different tribes, languages, and beliefs.<br><br>
That would be a good jumping off point, as it is not negative and allows for questions and answers and learning more, kwim?</div>
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Thank you. I think that's GREAT. Though I might say "people who were in this country first" or something, so preschoolers could understand. Indigenous is a big word. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Periwinkle</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363396"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you. I think that's GREAT. Though I might say "people who were in this country first" or something, so preschoolers could understand. Indigenous is a big word. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Okay, just my thoughts....preschoolers will understand the concept of first and second, and if they are told that NA's were here first, then naturally, others were here second, third, fourth, etc. And I wonder about what a preschooler would feel/think knowing that.<br><br>
Where as the word Indigenous does not leave anyone feeling inferior nor superior.....does that make sense?<br>
Like, just because wild rice was here first, does not mean that brown rice is less deserving to be here....I know, that is probably a horrible analogy.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I guess I don't see why it would be difficult to teach preschoolers the word Indigenous and what it means in a way that opens them to learning, rather than shutting them down due to feeling inadequate or inferior? Does that make a little more sense?
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>mammastar2</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363725"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I like your formulation. How would you explain 'indigenous' without getting into "first", though?</div>
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<a href="http://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-a&rls=org.mozilla%3Aen-US%3Aofficial&channel=s&hl=en&q=define%3A+Indigenous&btnG=Google+Search" target="_blank">Define: Indigenous</a><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">originating where it is found</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Living or occurring naturally in a specific area or environment; native.</td>
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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">Produced by, or naturally belonging to, a particular region or area</td>
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Just a few ideas.
 

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I like that.<br><br>
Of course, I'm in Canada, where the usual term is "First Nations". I think whichever term you use with children, the trick is to follow-up properly so that things aren't too reductionist.
 

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<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>MamaInTheBoonies</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7363674"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Okay, just my thoughts....preschoolers will understand the concept of first and second, and if they are told that NA's were here first, then naturally, others were here second, third, fourth, etc. And I wonder about what a preschooler would feel/think knowing that.<br><br>
Where as the word Indigenous does not leave anyone feeling inferior nor superior.....does that make sense?<br>
Like, just because wild rice was here first, does not mean that brown rice is less deserving to be here....I know, that is probably a horrible analogy.<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/lol.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="lol"><br><br>
I guess I don't see why it would be difficult to teach preschoolers the word Indigenous and what it means in a way that opens them to learning, rather than shutting them down due to feeling inadequate or inferior? Does that make a little more sense?</div>
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Yes, thanks for explaining so well. That makes a lot of sense.
 

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I think teaching preschoolers the word "indigenous" is a great idea. To them, it's just a word like "happy", "concrete", "environment", etc. I taught my 4yo the word ubiquitous because she's studying "U" words this week...
 

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Maybe you could try asking the NA mamas who belong to the FYT Forum for NA/Indian mamas. I'm sure they wouldn't mind you posting this question over there and they probably have a lot of ideas for you. I think you've already got input from one NA mama if I'm not mistaken. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Perhaps try to phrase at least one of your sentences in the present tense. So often indigeneous people in the US are only referred to in the past, historical tense. How many images do you see of indigenous people using computers? I can tell you that Yup'ik Eskimo youths are big fans of Yahoo! Messenger. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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I am hoping to teach my children real history too.<br>
I hate the garbage we got taught at school when I was growing up- it was not until I got to college did I know the truth about Native Americans and Europeans. Does not make any sense.<br>
I like the ideas here.<br>
Emilie
 
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