Classroom Caffeine

A Conversation with Debbie Reese

March 01, 2022 Lindsay Persohn Season 2 Episode 21
Classroom Caffeine
A Conversation with Debbie Reese
Show Notes Transcript

Dr. Debbie Reese talks to us about Native Nations, folk tales, untold histories, and knowing ourselves. Debbie is known for her studies of depictions of Native content in children's and young adult texts. Dr. Reese is tribally enrolled at Nambé Owingeh, a sovereign Native Nation in the southwest. She is a former school teacher and former assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 2006 she launched the website American Indians in Children's Literature to provide open access to her research. Her work has won numerous awards and distinctions from the American Library Association and critical reviewers of literature such as Kirkus Review and School Library Journal. In 2019, Dr. Reese co-authored An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People with Jean Mendoza. You can find Debbe online at americanindiansinchildrensliterature.net and on Twitter @debreese.

To cite this episode:
Persohn, L. (Host). (2022, Mar 1). A conversation with Debbie Reese. (Season 2, No. 21) [Audio podcast episode]. In Classroom Caffeine Podcast series. https://www.classroomcaffeine.com/guests. DOI: 10.5240/0E66-3213-A208-25CC-D257-K

Lindsay Persohn:

Education research has a problem. The work of brilliant education researchers often doesn't reach the practice of brilliant teachers. But the questions and challenges from teachers practice sometimes don't become the work of education researchers. Classroom Caffeine is here to help. In a new episode every other week, I talk with an education researcher or a classroom teacher about what they have learned from their work in education, and what questions they still pursue. In this episode, Dr. Debbie Reese talks to us about Native nations, folktales, untold histories, and knowing ourselves. Debbie is known for her studies of depictions of Native content in children's and young adult texts. Dr. Reese is tribally enrolled at Namb Owingeh, a sovereign Native nation in the southwest. She's a former school teacher and a former assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. In 2006, she launched the website American Indians in Children's Literature to provide open access to her research. Her work has won numerous awards and distinctions from the American Library Association, and critical reviewers of literature such as Kirkus Review and School Library Journal. In 2019, Dr. Reese co authored An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People with Jean Mendoza. You can find Debbie online at AmericanIndiansInChildren'sLiterature.net and on Twitter @D E B R E E S E; that's @DebReese. For more information about our guest, stay tuned to the end of this episode. So pour a cup of your favorite morning drink and join me your host Lindsay Persohn for Classroom Caffeine research to energize your teaching practice. Debbie, thank you for joining me. Welcome to the show.

Debbie Reese:

Thanks for inviting me. I'm glad to be here.

Lindsay Persohn:

So a couple of questions for you today. From your own experiences and education, will you share with us one or two moments that inform your thinking now?

Debbie Reese:

I'm going to address this as my experiences in graduate school, I think. When I started graduate school at Illinois, I came to the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign from my reservation in northern New Mexico, from Namb and I was really surprised at the depth of ignorance that I encountered here in even in a Research One institution where supposedly it has the smartest people in the state or around the world. I don't know what graduate school courses are like for most of your listeners, but generally at Illinois, each each graduate course starts with people introducing themselves and why they're there and what they want to study. And in those introductions, I let people know that I'm tribal enrolled from a tribal nation in New Mexico. I was surprised at how often the next questions to me were about the mascot. The University of Illinois at that time had a mascot and they wanted to know what I thought about the mascot. And I said it's not good. It's a stereotype it and it's harmful to everybody. It's harmful to the Native kids who see it and it's harmful to non Native people who think it's true or represent some aspect of truth neither, neither is good. So word trickled out soon, you know, soon thereafter, that that there was a Native family in town. And there were and still remain the case that there's you know, less than five Native families in this town at any given time. But But once we're here, the word starts to trickle out. And people in the community want you to come to their events. And the phone calls come and they wanted someone to dance. And I said, I don't dance in the way that you want me to. I'm from a tribal Nation where dance is sacred for us. It's like prayer in motion. And we do it at a certain time in certain place. And I don't do it for performance. So no, I won't dance. And they say, Well, can you come and tell us a story? And my reply to that was I'm not a storyteller. So no, I won't be able to come and tell you a story. I am a teacher, though. And I'm happy to come and talk to you about Namb Pueblo and its history and life there. And the answer was, No thanks. They didn't want the reality. People did not want the reality they wanted a performer and that was it. So that was that was astonishing to me that those two experiences both in the graduate school classrooms and in the community. And when I came here, I knew about the mascot but you know, I didn't think it was that big a deal, but it was you It was definitely a big deal. So I had come to study family literacy. That was what I wanted to study. And the depth of ignorance led me to think that what is going on here? Why are people so dismissive of real Native people, and so in love with a mascot and its imagery, and still interested in children's books, I started looking at children's books critically for the content in them with regard to depictions of Native people. Actually, what we should call it a white man's Indian, because most books are written and illustrated by people who are not Native, and they are created from a white person's idea of what Native people are. So I started looking at children's books. And that continues, those experiences continue to shape me because I still see, even after almost 30 years, very little change in terms of letting go of problematic books, and being able to embrace better ones, like people just can't let go of those old award winning books like Island of the Blue Dolphins, which is full of stereotypes and has so many problems, and people try to justify it. Teachers teach it as though the character that Scott O'Dell created was an actual person, rather than based on a actual person, but they think that was actually her that her name was actually the name he gave her. And that the words that he uses for her in the book as her language, that those are actually her language. And those are words he made up. So thinking about the impact of quite man's Indians, whether that's on a football field, or at a university sports program, or in a children's book or textbook, it's exceedingly hard to dislodge.

Lindsay Persohn:

Yeah, and, Debbie, unfortunately, your your stories brought to mind images of my own childhood and depictions of Native peoples that were common, I would say, as I was growing up, and you know, making a vest out of a paper bag, making a paper feather headdress for, for a Thanksgiving celebration. And it's my fear that so many of us have, as your stories just reinforced, have such a narrow conception of what it means to be a member of a tribe or to identify as a Native to this country. And I'm hoping that in your response to this next question, you will help us to unpack that a little bit and maybe take off some of those blinders. Because I know you've done some really great work when it comes to depictions of Native people in children's literature. So what do you want listeners to know about your work?

Debbie Reese:

One, I think they have to know, first to have to know themselves. And and and look critically at the very thing that you just recounted the kinds of things that you were asked to do when you were a child, because teachers today ask kids to do that now. And so that's not a thing of the past, that still happens all the time, across the country and around Thanksgiving, scholars in education will share those images that their kids are encountering. Amongst, we share them with each other and some get posted on social media is very much part of the present. And the ones that are especially difficult are when Native kids are asked to be part of the Thanksgiving play or reenactment. Those things are difficult, emotionally taxing, and draining and exhausting for for Native kids and for their for their families. So first, people have to come to terms with their own history, and what they think they know, and be able to let go of it. Because we are teachers, we are educators, we are involved in the process of teaching children. And what we are doing when we go down those reenactment kinds of spaces is we're mis educating kids. So it's a violation of that sacred trust that we all extend to teachers that they will do right by our children. That doesn't happen when people are doing Thanksgiving reenactments. So Thanksgiving is one of the big, big problems that we have in schools across the country today and was hard in the last couple of years is seeing that the gains that people from communities that are marginalized have made over the last 10 years or so, are now being pushed, no, they're being shoved backwards with all of the laws that are being passed to stop people from using certain books in the classroom, or having them on the library shelf. Every day there's news of another school district that has or state that has passed that kind of a law. So I think being able to reflect carefully on your own experiences and think about what you are really trying to do is what I want people to know because that there is a better future for all of us. And I think that if we are in touch with that history, and being able to say, yeah, I know my mom loved me, my dad loved me, they took me to these summer camps, we played Indian, they didn't know. But I know now, and I will replicate what they did. And they weren't bad people because they did that. But I can do better. And I will choose to do better. That's what I would like to use to do is is when they

Lindsay Persohn:

Well, Debbie, I think on your website, I think read what I'm doing, is to change their practice. Now, having been a school teacher in the classroom, I know how hard it is to come up with all those lesson plans. And to design learning centers and all of the things that I was doing in the classroom teacher, it all took so much time. And the the country as a whole doesn't really respect teachers that much. And so they, they tend to think it's easy to turn on a dime. And it's not. It really isn't. And so I respect that truth, that fact about a teacher's life. And so I know they can't do something overnight, that I would like them over time to make those kinds of changes to what they're doing. you really offer some concrete tools for doing that. In particular, I know there are times that you take a critical look at things like worksheets from sites, like Teachers Pay Teachers, and really help to highlight the good, the bad and the ugly, right. And I think that you offer a lot of points for critical reflection. And I do hope that listeners will take that message to heart. And as you said, it starts with us, right? It starts with us thinking about our past experiences, thinking about I always say the things we don't know we think with, and really examining those to understand, what are the real repercussions here? What is, you know, what is kind of a global understanding? Or how can I approach this in a way that is unique to me, and the experiences I've had, but also considers that other people have very different histories and cultures than each of us do. And just I think, again, taking that global perspective, and taking a critical look, a critical reflection at what we've done as children, what we've maybe done in a teacher preparation program that perhaps reinforced those ideas, rather than asking us to take a critical look at them. And as you said, doing better for the future. You know, my question is always, how can we serve every child who walks through our door, because that is really the mission of public education is to serve every child. And when we approach education from a narrow, constrained or self centered viewpoint, I think that it's it's just impossible to do that. And it's impossible to make every child feel that they have a purpose and a space in this world, and to really help them discover what that is.

Debbie Reese:

Yeah, it's a couple of things that you said maybe made me think about what a lot of teachers think that, that if they don't have Native kids in their classroom, they don't have to worry about this. And in fact, they do. Because it's just educationally sound practice to be mindful of that no matter who's in your classroom. But beyond or beyond that a lot of teachers expect a Native kid, they have darker skin and high cheekbones and black hair, because that's a stereotype that they saw over and over in their growing up years. That's just not the case. When you look at census data, you see that there are more Native people living across the country in urban areas and suburban areas than there are living on reservations. So we are everywhere, and we don't look like what you think we should look like. So always assume that one of those kids in the classroom might actually be a Native kid whose parent is at the local university, or working for a local institution, but has not presented themselves to you the teacher as being from tribal Nation. So those that so stereotypical ideas that teachers have in their hands have have an impact on how they are thinking about who the kids are in the classrooms where they're working. The research that I have been reading is disheartening, because it shows that their stereotypical imagery has a depressive effect on the self esteem of Native kids. It's not harmless. It also unfortunately has the opposite impact on non Native kids. It makes them feel better. And that's just atrocious. But but that that is research studies that are done by Stephanie Freiburg who is doing research on mascots. So it is important to pay attention to those because they are having an impact on both native and non native kids. The facts are that Native kids drop out at higher rates than other groups, that Native kids and people commit suicide at higher rates than other people, that our life expectancies are lower than other people. On all those demographics where, where we measure how well a group is doing, we're just at the bottom of that over and over again. So those kinds of grim research findings can only change when teachers actually address what they're doing in the classroom and be thoughtful about how they're touching the future of the kids in that class.

Lindsay Persohn:

That is a very heavy realization, I think. And certainly those are facts that I didn't know, I was aware of dropout rates and the fact that those are higher, but I did not realize that life expectancy was lower, and suicide is higher for Native kids and Native people. And I think that, that just speaks to what you've said, it reinforces that this stuff matters, right? It's not inconsequential. It's not trivial. It's not someone else's problem. I think this is something that we we all need to do a little bit of work in, and maybe a lot of work and to be quite honest, in order to learn more, to make some departures from stereotypes. And to uncover the truth of some of these, like you said, the classic stories and kind of these traditional ways of being in school and how we talk about people from from Native nations. So I appreciate that sobering fact, unfortunately. I think that it does really put things in perspective. And it does hit home with me, when I think about just how critical this work is and how critical it is for teachers to know about this kind of work.

Debbie Reese:

Now, one thing that I really wish teachers to go from zero to 90 on right away would be that the fact that in the United States and a lot of teacher education programs that we kind of get Native people get lumped in as a multicultural population. And we are actually a political group. We are nations of people. We, you know, I think most people go through school knowing Oh, yeah, we made treaties with the Indians. They can mouth that word or that phrase, we made treaties, but don't really understand what that means. Treaties are legal documents, and are the outcome of the head of a state talking to the head of another state, and coming to some agreements on how they're going to be together in this world. So we are nations, I think that's when when I said zero to 90, I want people to know where nations that we were not primitive creatures roaming around half naked. We are people who've had leaders, who had diplomatic negotiations with George Washington, and with people before George Washington, we were nations before the United States was a nation. And these treaties are there, because people knew that. So I really, I really wish that we could pull apart this idea that we are a cultural group. We are definitely people with cultures, peoples with cultures with different stories, languages, histories, all of that all of those things that make a culture. We have all of that in a vast, diverse way, because we span the entire continent, north and south, east and west. And our cultural materials come from the resources around us. That's not the same everywhere. So something like this again, circling back to the idea of stereotypes, everything's Indians were big, feathered headdresses. And that's not the case. Some Native people did and do. Not everyone. So the word nation, that's a big one. And also to be very mindful of verb tense when they're talking about us. When you're doing analysis of children's books, you will often see past tense verbs. And that's a form of erasure because we are very much still here. So I would like teachers to be conscious of that. I would like them to say, Debbie Reese is from Namb Pueblo. I would like them to pick up a book like, here's a good one I have right here. Sharice's Big Voice. The subtitle is A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman. It's by US Congresswoman Sharice Davids. I want them to be able to use book by Sharice Davids. She is a Native woman. Her nation is the Ho-Chunk. Here is the Ho-Chunks website. Because these little two letter words, his three ones are they just carry so much power. And I'd like to see that happen in classrooms.

Lindsay Persohn:

That is huge. The shift in tense, I think is really big. Because you know, so often, I think in traditional Eurocentric American schools, it is a past tense. It is a was native peoples were here, they did live here. And that really changes my thinking also in how we frame that. Yes, we have to realize and we have to frame native peoples as those who are here with us right now who bring a rich heritage and culture but still here.

Debbie Reese:

And here's another one that I'm also that I also push very hard when I'm working with teachers and librarians. They said there's a tendency to use what they think are Native American folk tales, and they bring them into the classrooms. Generally what you find on the market, they're not written by Native people. They're written by non native people who have cherry picked stories told by native peoples of several nations and mash them together as if it is a story that they come up with. And to to a teacher who does not know, it looks like it's a native story. And it's not. It's a mishmash or created story by a white person. So it's a white man's folk tale about what that white person thinks is a Native group when it's so fictionalized in so many ways. It's not that at all. But anyway, the idea of folktales is a problem, because those are our sacred stories. You don't play with people's sacred stories. We don't play with Bible stories in today's, in United States classrooms; we respect that. Genesis has a lot of meaning to Christians, people who think of themselves as Christian, the story Genesis matters tremendously to them. And if I was going to go into a classroom and say, let's read Genesis, Oh, isn't this cool? Now you make a story like that, to use Genesis as a playful thing. And as a writing prompt, you'd hear about it right away, because that's sacrilegious. That's disrespectful. And I would like to see Native stories receive that same respect in a classroom, but also in a library. Because if you go to your library catalogues, you'll see that native traditional stories are generally housed with folklore, like Little Red Riding Hood, and books like that, rather than over there with Genesis where it really should be. Institutionalized racism.

Lindsay Persohn:

That's such an important point. I think just highlighting that so many of the stories that we all may know or we may be aware of, on a very broad level, particularly, I would say the US, they are composite stories. They are composite characters. They're not actual people. And as you said, it's it's a whitewashed fictionalized, really sacrilegious way of portraying those events and people and stories. That's such an important point. Thank you for that, Debbie.

Debbie Reese:

I would suggest to teachers who typically use those kinds of things that are called folktales, if they're using a native folktale as a, don't use it, just set it aside. Instead, use a book by Cynthia Leitich Smith, it's called Jingle Dancer. It's about a little girl in the present day, who is taking part in a traditional dance for the first time, and how her community comes together to help her be ready to do that. It embodies all the good of what a Native community is, all the truths of what a Native community is. And there is a place in that story where the character is having a hard time because it's not easy learning song, learning history, learning dance, the meaning of all of that, and it is hard can be difficult. And so there's a point where she feels a little overwhelmed, and one of her community members tells her well, don't forget about bat, there's just that little bit that don't forget about bat. And that is a huge signal to Muskogee Creek children who know that bat is part of their traditional teaching stories about you don't give up. You just keep trying.

Lindsay Persohn:

I do want to ask one clarifying question. Are you saying bat as in B A T?

Debbie Reese:

Yeah, the creature. And so there's, Cynthia calls those kinds of gestures to knowledge that a Native reader will have brushstrokes. So there are brushstrokes in that book and other books by Native writers, that function is mirrors to Native kids, and can function as windows to non Native readers because they are learning firsthand something about an experience that Native kids go through every every year, every season, within their communities.

Lindsay Persohn:

I'm really glad you brought up Rudine Sims Bishop's mirrors and windows, because I know at least in the children's literature courses that I teach, that is a huge frame with which we think about and reflect on literature. And also think about how we design a classroom library. How do we ensure that every kid sees themselves and sees others and is able to step into other worlds through the literature that we that we present to them? So thank you for making that connection.

Debbie Reese:

Many years ago, I was gonna give a presentation in Alaska to Alaska librarians and I was trying to do use the metaphor with mirrors and windows, I was doing a Google search using Pueblo homes windows because I was trying to make you know, my house, make a my house kind of graphic for slide for the for the presentation. And I was just look, look, look couldn't find anything. And then I came to one that very old picture of one of our teaching structures, that it's called a Kiva. It's a religious structure. Teaching happens in there. And next to it was another extension of it was a Community House. That's what we call it Community House. And it was weird to me it was pictures like 1910, but it's still there. And so I I recognize it right away, and I certainly do, oh wait look, there's a curtain on the window. And I thought, it's there for a reason. I'm going to extend the metaphor, because there are things that take place in spiritual or religious places and spaces that we draw the curtains on. The reason is we have to protect it. The United States government past policies in the 1800s and early 1900s said, You are pagans, you cannot do your dances, that stuff is bad, you heathens. And whenever we didn't worship in the ways that we worship, we were considered in violation of federal policies. And you could go to jail for that bad things could happen to you for all of that. So across the tribal nations in the United States, you will find ways that our tribal councils have developed to protect our ceremonies from being misrepresented, so that we don't suffer more repercussions from the misunderstanding of what we're doing. That was finally repealed in maybe it was 1978, when the one of the Religious Protection Act was passed in Congress, it was that long before that stuff would go away. And it's still at risk. I mean, we we tend to think that the United States is more enlightened every year. And it really isn't. It's very cyclical in it's oppressive ways.

Lindsay Persohn:

I'm also continuously shocked by how recently some of these issues have come to light. Right? You You would think that we've always had kind of our finger on the pulse of what's going on with people who live in this country. And it's just not true. It's simply not true. And I'm constantly in awe of the fact that this wasn't lifetimes ago.

Debbie Reese:

It wasn't, right. You know, in recent in recent years, I've been when I do visits to places I talk about An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States for Young People, the book that Jean Mendoza and I adapted. And I'm always careful to bring up the idea that we are, who you are matters and how you see a moment or an event in history, or a person in history. So the people who were especially impacted by George Washington, they don't see him as a hero. They see him as a monster, and they call him the Town Destroyer. I'm talking about Native people of that area, of the Iroquois Confederacy. And when I also talk about Abraham Lincoln with his people think he's like, he's like the hero. But in fact, after the Dakota War, the United States Army rounded up a lot of Dakota people and said these these people all need to be killed because they need to be executed because of what they did to those poor pioneers and those settlers. So there were 303 that they had determined through military trials had to be executed. Abraham Lincoln looked at that and said, No, it can't be, you can't do that. I'll review the files. I'm paraphrasing. I'll review the files, and those that raped women, those are the ones we will execute. So he had in his head, the idea that maybe people are rapists. Where have you heard a phrase like that before? Only recently, within the last 10 years, the former president said the very same thing about Mexicans. So anyway, Abraham Lincoln said, No, that's my criteria, the ones that raped women, those are the ones that we will execute. He went through the files, those 303 files, and there were only two. And so he said, This is all in his writings. He said, That's not enough. The white people want blood for this war, they want punishment. And so he went through the files again, and ended up with over 30. And so that was the largest mass execution that has ever taken place in United States, by Abraham Lincoln's supporters and review of those files. Over 30 Dakota men were executed by hanging all at once, the day after Christmas in Minnesota. And the day after Christmas. I mean, when this hanging happens, there are etchings of the crowd that was gathered to watch it, because that's part of America, that's part of what people do is they go to these lynchings, to watch. Not to witness but to be entertained. It's it's hard to think about those things. But you won't find what I've just shared about Lincoln in the books that are written about him for children or adults is just not there. And it needs to be there.

Lindsay Persohn:

I am constantly in awe of how much untold history there is. And I realize that for logistical reasons, history has always been condensed because we can't reenact the history of the world. But the selective way in which history is told I think is just appalling. And I do feel as though we are maybe as hopefully, as a country beginning to awake to this and to see that there are so many other sides of stories and there were so many as you just recounted the mass execution that I would venture to say most people have never heard of, right so so uncovering these things and understanding, you know, what's the other side of the story, what is the what's the part of history that we don't know about or that isn't heavily publicized, or that isn't printed in our textbooks? You know, I hope that that's another thing listeners take away from this conversation is just how much untold history is out there. And quite often, it's not very pretty.

Debbie Reese:

It's not and the idea is not to make anybody feel bad. The idea is, is it because that's what's driving a lot of the of the actions that are taking place at school boards, that people don't want their kids to feel bad, or uncomfortable, but history is uncomfortable. And until we're really honest with ourselves about how any of us, including the great Abraham Lincoln, can be deeply flawed with regard to how they think about people who are not like themselves, then we're just going to be stuck as we move forward, because as you know, the world is becoming smaller, and it can grow in beautiful ways, or it can continue down these roads of destruction.

Lindsay Persohn:

I think that's such an important point. Because to me, understanding history, while it is about the past, I don't think it's really about the past, it's about the future, and it's about the world we want to create and the histories, we don't want to repeat much more than reliving or, as you said, bringing bad feelings to certain groups of people. That's not what this is about. This is about ensuring a future for everyone and an equitable, solid future where everyone can see themselves in the world and become whoever they want to be, you know, however, they want to be positive and productive in the world. Those are the tools that I believe we have to give to kids. And we can't do that without understanding some of you know, some of the ugly parts of where we've been.

Debbie Reese:

Yeah.

Lindsay Persohn:

So, Debbie, given the challenges of today's educational climate, and I feel like we've just touched on a couple of those. What message do you want teachers to hear?

Debbie Reese:

I want teachers to know that I respect them. And I respect the work of teachers and know it's not easy. I I really don't know what to say, honestly, to teachers right now. Because the pressures on them, because of COVID have been tremendous. And layered on that now are all of these school boards, and state legislatures that are now, like in Virginia, now that there's a there's a hot line email address for people, parents can report their teachers for doing something they didn't like and I, I don't I don't know what to say to teachers. Take heart seems so empty. I don't know. That's what I have to say. I don't know.

Lindsay Persohn:

I think that's totally fair. I think that what teachers have gone through for the last few years, I think there was a bit of kind of a push to back teachers and to acknowledge the difficult work that they are doing every day. But it does seem like we're backsliding a bit, right. And as you said, being able to call up and report your child's teacher for something they did that you didn't like. It does feel like a major setback in a world that is increasingly challenging, in a world where teachers are increasingly scarce. We know that teacher preparation programs, folks are not enrolling like they used to, because right now it is a bit of a hard sell. Teaching is, in my mind, the foundation of a democratic society. And I don't know where our world would be without teachers. But as you said, you know, to be to be able to say, Hey, I heard my kids teacher said this thing, and I didn't like it and and report them to the state. It does seem like a major setback.

Debbie Reese:

Who would choose that?

Lindsay Persohn:

Right. It's it's an incredibly difficult world to navigate right now.

Debbie Reese:

Yeah.

Lindsay Persohn:

So it's, it's my hope that something as small as this podcast might provide a little bit of fuel and encouragement for teachers to continue the good and difficult work that they're doing right now.

Debbie Reese:

I often say, if you need help, teachers, write to me because I have lots of resource. I'll do what I can to try and help you with a particular book that you're trying to decide what to do with. So if you if you look for my email address, wherever the on the website for this podcast, please do write to me.

Lindsay Persohn:

And I know you also are very active on Twitter as well. So anyone who's engaged in the Twitter platform, I think can find you there too. Well, Debbie, I've I've enjoyed talking with you. Even though I think we've touched on some really difficult topics, I believe that difficult conversations are part of what help us to change and to re envision a future that's better for everyone. So I thank you so much for your time, and I thank you for your contributions to the world of education.

Debbie Reese:

Thank you Lindsay.

Lindsay Persohn:

Dr. Debbie Reese is known for his studies of depictions of Native content and children's and young adult texts. Dr. Reese is tribally enrolled at Namb Owingeh, a sovereign Native nation in the southwest. She holds a doctorate degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign and a master's degree in Library and Information Science from San Jose State University. She's a former school teacher and a former assistant professor. Her work is used in education, library science, and English courses in the United States and in Canada. In 2018, Debbie delivered the May Hill Arbuthnot honor lecture for the American Library Association. In 2019, Dr. Reese co authored An Indigenous Peoples History of the United States for Young People with Jean Mendoza. The book was named a 2019 Best Young Adult Nonfiction Book by Kirkus Reviews, a 2019 Best Nonfiction Book by School Library Journal, and was named a 2020 American Library Association American Indian Youth Literature Young Adult Honor Book. In 2006, she launched the organization of American Indians and Children's Literature to provide open access to her research. You can find Dr. Reese online at AmericanIndiansInChildrensLiterature.net, that's A M E R I C A N I N D I A N S I N C H I L D R E N S L I T E R A T U R E dot N E T and on Twitter @debreese, that's @ D E B R E E S E. For the good of all students, good research should inform good practice and vice versa. Listeners are invited to respond to an episode, learn more about our guests, search past episodes, or request a topic or conversation with a specific person through our website at ClassroomCaffeine.com. If you've learned something today, or just enjoyed listening, please be encouraged to talk about what you heard with your colleagues, and subscribe and review this podcast through your podcast provider. As always, I raise my mug to you teachers. Thanks for joining me.