Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Labels for button blankets

I'm not quite sure what to title this post with but I did my best. In my research about button blankets for Native Americans in Southeast Alaska; there seems to be a bit of confusion. A lot of sources and elementary school teachers are, not necessarily wrong, but misinterpreted. Some Native Americans may take the term "Indian" as offense or will say they are not "Indian" whatsoever. In my research, the term "Indian" came up at least eighty percent of the time. The sad thing is that these sources are mainly located in Washington state. I pointed out school teachers for a specific reason; many of the lesson plans or classes are doing kid versions of button blankets.

The instructions are simple enough, but the term "Alaska Indian" or "Northwest Coast Indian." This is an improper term for research sake and some tribes might find it offensive. It was difficult trying to find reliable sources; I didn't think of typing in "Alaska Indian" while searching. I was taught that "Native American" was the proper term and that it was appropriate when addressing topics such as button blankets. I didn't feel very comfortable using sources that had "Indian" in the title; that wasn't how I was taught to respectfully address a Native American. With this all in mind; whenever I tried searching for "Native Button Blankets" the term "Indian" showed up the majority of the time.

Sources that should be corrected or not to be confused with "Indian":

How to make a Northwest Indian Button Blanket

Button Blanket | Ask.com Encyclopedia

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