Toolkit For Educating Readers about Indigenous Stereotypes in Children’s Classic Literature


Classic Children’s books are filled with inaccurate stereotypes of Indigenous Peoples. Research has proven that reading books with such stereotypes is harmful to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous children. These classics perpetuate racism by normalizing Indigenous stereotypes while also affecting the self-identity of Indigenous children. However, removing these books from the public library collection could be seen as a form of censorship. In addition, these books are beloved by many, meaning they will be requested often. It is imperative that public libraries find a way to educate their community about the inaccuracies portrayed in these books and pair these books with more accurate selections told by Indigenous voices.  

Meagan Wilkinson:

Meagan Wilkinson holds a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Education and is currently working through her Masters of Library and Information Studies. After falling into a position at a public library 10 years ago, she has worked various positions from the Children’s department to the circulation desk, in two public libraries. She currently works as the Head of Circulation at the Orillia Public Library in what is now known as Orillia, Ontario. Her love of libraries and books prompted her to pursue her MLIS, which lead her to the Indigenous Librarianship course. This course has been an important learning experience that has changed how she thinks about Librarianship and public libraries.