Date of Defense
Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies
Dr. Allen Webb
Dr. Nicolas Witschi
Why teach Native literatures? The simple answer is that it is imperative to expose students to many worldviews: "Everyone ... is entitled to know the history and pain and beauty of the world as it has been recorded by artists who come from all of the strands that make up American literary society" (Oliver qtd. in Susag 6). Of course there are deeper issues at play. As the first peoples in North America, their diverse literatures are a central part of the American heritage. According to Heather Bruce, an associate professor of English Education at University of Montana, "Literatures and personal testimonies by Natives help illustrate important contributions made by Indian peoples and contradict negative stereotypes. Study of Native literatures also helps all students understand the complexities of Native and European American interactions, experiences, and relationships" (54). The Native experience of American history must be included in education, and teaching Native literatures is one of the best ways to do this.
Davis, Sarah J., "Native Literatures: An Analysis of Secondary Textbooks and Published Teaching Approaches and a Sketch of a Curriculum for an Elective English Course in Native Literatures at the Secondar or Post-Secondary Level" (2005). Honors Theses. 977.
Honors Thesis-Campus Only