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Native American Stereotypes


Native American Stereotypes Mr. Glisch American Literature Perhaps no culture has been more misrepresented and stereotyped than the Native American culture. – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Native American Stereotypes

Native American Stereotypes
  • Mr. Glisch
  • American Literature

  • Perhaps no culture has been more misrepresented
    and stereotyped than the Native American culture.
    When we think of Native Americans, the term
    Indian comes to mind as well as an image of a
    warrior on horseback, with a feathered headdress
    flowing in the wind. In reality, Native
    Americans and their cultures are just as diverse
    as all other cultures.

Common Stereotypes
  • Here are some facts to help dispel common
  • Native Americans speak different languages and
    have uniquely different cultures
  • More than 2000 different languages, cultures, and
    value systems existed within the Native American
    tribes before the settlers arived

  • Native Americans have been stereotyped since the
    first immigrants
  • Early settles wrote about Native Americans as
    one, not a diverse group
  • Early settlers saw Native Americans as primitive
    and savage due to cultural differences
  • Early settlers tried to convert Native Americans
    to Anglo culture and Christianity. When this
    failed, they deemed them as a barrier to

  • Early American writers developed a frontier
    writing formula that depicted Native Americans as
    savages in order to justify their elimination
    from their native lands, a sacrifice to Western
  • Literature during this time is loaded with
    stories of Native Americans burning, looting,
    raping, and scalping the pioneers who were
    pursuing "manifest destiny."
  • Actual and exaggerated stories of atrocities by
    Native Americans upon white settlers (with no
    mention of the reverse) established a strong
    hatred of them as the impediment to the
    advancement of white civilization in the west.

  • American media continues to perpetuate Native
    American stereotypes.
  • Tonto (which suspiciously means "stupid" in
    Spanish), the Lone Ranger's "faithful" Indian
    companion, was one of early TV's favorite
    characters on the show The Lone Ranger.
  • Westerns, which still air today, portray Native
    Americans as flat, interchangeable characters
    without depth.
  • The noble, stoic stereotype of the Native
    American. Not all Native Americans fit this
    description, just as not all Americans fit the
    idea of a Southerner.
  • The warrior. Mascots perpetuate this
    stereotype. Native Americans never were and are
    not the bloodthirsty savages early settlers
    portrayed them to be.
  • When is the last time you saw a Native American
    as a positive, dynamic character in a major movie
    or T.V. show?
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