Art Collection Exhibits Stereotypes Of Native Americans

May 19, 2013

Credit Sequoyah National Research Center

A research center collecting writings and art of Native Americans hopes Arkansans will be more aware of racial issues.

Sequoyah National Research Center at UALR had just received a $20,000 grant to preserve Herschfelder-Molin Collection which depicts stereotypes of Native Americans.

salt and pepper shakers
Credit Kezia Nanda

Assistant Director, Tony Rose, said the collection includes, “a lot of sports memorabilia Washington Redskins, there are some toys, Native American Barbies, there’s a collection of salt and pepper shakers, Land Lakes butter ad. Americans have a difficulty of letting go of that stereotypical image of Native American and we hope that we can help show with this exhibit how dehumanizing and disenfranchising these images are.”

"It's really interesting to me that while mainstream America is sensitive to other racial stereotypes, they just can't quite let go of the feathers, ..., and beads of Native Americans. It's like they're stuck in the 3rd grade level. When they think of Indians, they think of the same thing they thought when they were in 3rd grade."

The grant comes from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council.