The Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council has awarded the Sequoyah National Research Center a $20,000 grant to process and exhibit the Hirschfelder-Molin Stereotypes Collection.
The collection of 1,400 artifacts was donated to the center by Arlene Hirschfelder and Paulette Molin in 2012 and consists of advertisements, sports memorabilia, toys, books, clothing, and other items depicting Native American stereotypes.
Hirschfelder and Molin have been collecting since the early 1970s. Hirschfelder is a noted educator and award-winning author of dozens of books on Native American culture, education, and youth. Molin is also an educator and author, writing primarily on Native American youth and children’s literature.
“While our society has become more sensitive to stereotypes for most racial and cultural groups, it has been reluctant to give up stereotypes of American Indians,” said Tony Rose, the center’s assistant director. “The persistence of these images has a significant impact on how all people perceive the ‘human-ness’ of Native Americans. This collection will be a tremendous resource for researchers and teachers looking at questions of racial intolerance and the impact stereotyping on material culture.”
The center hopes to open the exhibit in the summer of 2014. The grant was one of 21 given out by the council this year.