Sacajawea, Pocahontas, and Crayons: Representations of Native American Women in Children’s Coloring Books
Children develop social understandings through interactions with toys, books, and craft activities, including coloring books. This article presents a study of representations of Native American women and girls in Euro-American produced children’s coloring books commercially published during the past 75 years. This content analysis focuses on appearance and character activities from a gender-based lens of representations of social expectations held and perpetuated by dominant Euro-American productions of Native American masculinity and femininity. The study found that Native women are insufficiently and inaccurately presented. These findings are consistent with analysis of children’s books in general, indicating a need for authenticity from Native American lived experiences and perspectives in the content and presentation of women and girls to enrich children’s understandings of Indigenous people and culture learned through coloring books.