Reclaiming representations & interrupting the cycle of bias against native Americans

Arianne E. Eason, Laura M. Brady, Stephanie A. Fryberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The most widely accessible ideas and representations of Native Americans are largely negative, antiquated, and limiting. In this essay, we examine how the prevalence of such representations and a comparative lack of positive contemporary representations foster a cycle of bias that perpetuates disparities among Native Americans and other populations. By focusing on three institutions – the legal system, the media, and education – we illustrate how the same process that creates disparate outcomes can be leveraged to promote positive contemporary ideas and representations of Native Americans, thereby creating more equitable outcomes. We also highlight the actions some contemporary Native Americans have taken to reclaim their Native American identity and create accurate ideas and representations of who Native Americans are and what they can become. These actions provide a blueprint for leveraging cultural change to interrupt the cycle of bias and to reduce the disparities Native Americans face in society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science


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