8 oct. 2010

Indian or Native American?

Lecture: Indian or Native American?  Deconstructing Stereotypes about American Indians
Speakers: Raney Bench and James Eric Francis
Date: September 28th
Place: The Abbe Museum Community Gallery, 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor, Maine, US
Admission: Free
Comments: 
Join the Abbe Museum for a special program presented by Raney Bench and James Eric Francis, Sr. , Penobscot, that aims to deconstruct stereotypes about American Indians. This FREE event, intended for adults and teens, will take place from 6:30-8:00 pm on Tuesday, Sept. 28th in the Abbe Museum Community Gallery on 26 Mount Desert Street, Bar Harbor.
In Indian or Native American? Deconstructing Stereotypes about American Indians, Abbe Museum Curator of Education Raney Bench and Tribal Historian for the Penobscot Nation James Eric Francis, Sr. will present a skit and lead a discussion highlighting all those questions people are afraid to ask about Indians.  The introductory skit aims to address some common stereotypes while creating a comfortable and open atmosphere that encourages the questions and discussion that form the second half of the program.
Stereotyping is a learned form of classifying and labeling others based on inaccurate information or assumption rather than on factual knowledge. Stereotypes, both good and bad, are damaging because they ignore individual differences and assume that all people in a given category are alike.  Stereotyping can lead to prejudice, followed by discrimination in the forms of racism, sexism, or discrimination against foreigners, for example. Part of the program's conversation includes an explanation of the difference between the human tendency to categorize and the potentially harmful effects of generalization.  By directly addressing these stereotypes, this program aims to encourage a better understanding of American Indians.
The partnership of Raney Bench and James Eric Francis Sr. allows for a highly educational evening, as Bench's expertise enables her to address questions guests might have about sensitive issues regarding Native Americans in the United States; while James Eric Francis Sr. provides an important perspective and wealth of knowledge about Penobscot history and culture. 
About Abbe Museum:
The mission of the Abbe Museum is to inspire new learning about the Wabanaki Nations with every visit. The Abbe has a collection of over 50,000 archeological, historic, and contemporary objects including stone and bone tools, pottery, beadwork, carved root clubs, birch bark canoes, and supporting collections of photographs, maps, and archival documents. It holds the largest and best-documented collection of Maine Native American basketry in any museum. Its collections conservation program is recognized nationally as a model for museums

© Text and image: Abbe Museum
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