CANOE be Valentine? A Collection of 20 Valentine’s Day Cards From the Mid-20th Century Punning Native Americans

This post was originally published on this site

Like portrayals of African-Americans, images of Native Americans on valentines and other ephemera reflected the racial attitudes of the time in which they were created.

Some vintage cards here may be uncomfortable to view, but we feel it is important to remember how recent and pervasive the use of racist and ethnic caricatures were in mundane, daily entertainment. It normalized negative stereotypes in a way that made overt institutionalized racism such as the residential schools for Native American children possible.
That’s not to say we don’t still see such imagery around today – we do – and while there is plenty of room for improvement, we have come a long way in that it is not as common, not as ordinary, not as accepted in mainstream society without any real challenge as it was, in our (not all that distant) past.

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