The purpose of this study was to describe and explain the portrayal of American Indians in U.S. textbooks selected for review in Hillsborough County, Florida’s 2012 textbook adoption. The study identified which of the textbooks under consideration contained the greatest amount of information dedicated to American Indians and analyzed how that information was portrayed. The exploratory question that guided this study was, under what conditions can Tribal Critical Race Theory help illuminate how American Indians are portrayed in textbooks? The methodology used is a critical case study (Janesick, 2004; Rubin & Rubin, 2005). The Five Great Values, as developed by Sanchez (2007), are Generosity and Sharing, Respect for Women and the Elderly, Getting Along with Nature, Individual Freedom, and Courage and were used in the organization, coding, and analysis of the data. The theoretical framework that guides this study is Tribal Critical Race Theory (Brayboy, 2005), created in order to address issues from an indigenous perspective. This study found that while overt racism has declined, colonialism and assimilation were still used as models when American Indians were depicted in the five selected textbooks. It also discovered the portrayal of American Indian women to be particularly influenced by the models of colonialism and assimilation.


Tribal Critical Race Theory, Textbook Bias, American Indians, Critical case Study, Assimilation.

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Dr. Gary Padgett is currently an assistant professor of Secondary Education in the College of Education at the University of North Alabama. Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Gary Padgett at, UNA Box 5119, Florence, AL 35632- 0001; Email: gpadgett@una.edu

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