Indian Stereotypes in TV Science Fiction
First Nations' Voices Speak Out
160 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sales Date: March 1, 2005
According to an early 1990s study, 95 percent of what college students know about Native Americans was acquired through the media, leading to widespread misunderstandings of First Nations peoples. Sierra Adare contends that negative "Indian" stereotypes do physical, mental, emotional, and financial harm to First Nations individuals.
At its core, this book is a social study whose purpose is to explore the responses of First Nations peoples to representative "Indian" stereotypes portrayed within the TV science fiction genre. Participants in Adare's study viewed episodes from My Favorite Martian, Star Trek, Star Trek: Voyager, Quantum Leap, The Adventures of Superman, and Star Trek: The Next Generation. Reactions by viewers range from optimism to a deep-rooted sadness. The strongest responses came after viewing a Superman episode's depiction of an "evil medicine man" who uses a ceremonial pipe to kill a warrior. The significance of First Nations peoples' responses and reactions are both surprising and profound. After publication of "Indian" Stereotypes in TV Science Fiction, ignorance can no longer be used as an excuse for Hollywood's irresponsible depiction of First Nations peoples' culture, traditions, elders, religious beliefs, and sacred objects.
- Discussion of Terms Used
- Chapter 1: First Nations Voices on Hollywood "Indians"
- Selection of Participants
- Videotaped Clips
- Survey 1
- Survey 2
- Shoshone Survey Groups
- Interviews of First Nations Individuals
- Summary of Methodological Strengths and Weaknesses
- Chapter 2: It's All in the Label
- The Label Begins
- The Collective "Indian"
- Origins of the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly "Indian" Stereotypes
- Hollywood Picks Up the Stereotypes
- Overview of "Indian" Stereotypes in TV Science Fiction
- Chapter 3: Future "Indians," Past Stereotypes
- My Favorite Martian "Go West, Young Martian, Go West, Part II"
- Star Trek "The Paradise Syndrome"
- Star Trek: Voyager "Tattoo"
- First Nations Peoples' Assessment of Futuristic "Indian" Stereotypes
- Common Threads
- Chapter 4: Shoshones and Non-Shoshones Assess Quantum Leap "Freedom": A Special Showing
- Quantum Leap "Freedom"
- First Nations Peoples' Assessment of the Stereotypical Depictions of Shoshones in "Freedom"
- Shoshones' Take on the Stereotypical Depictions of Shoshones in "Freedom"
- Common Threads
- Chapter 5: Sky Spirits in Space: "Indian" Spirituality and the Small Screen
- The Adventures of Superman "Test of a Warrior"
- Star Trek: The Next Generation "Journey's End"
- Star Trek: Voyager "The Cloud"
- First Nations Peoples' Assessment of "Indian" Spirituality as Depicted in Science Fiction TV Shows
- Common Threads
- Chapter 6: Visions for the Future
- Analysis of Common Threads: Positive and Negative Comments on Stereotypical Depictions of "Indians" in the Science Fiction TV Episodes
- Participant Reactions While Viewing the Episodes
- Common Threads in the Star Trek Universe
- Common Threads in "Indian" Spirituality
- Other Common Threads
- The Depiction of Shoshones on Quantum Leap "Freedom"
- What First Nations Peoples Would Like to See
- Conclusion and Epilogue
- Appendix A: Survey 1 Form: Stereotyping Indigenous Peoples in Science Fiction TV Shows
- Appendix B: Shoshone Survey Form: Stereotyping Indigenous Peoples in Science Fiction TV Shows
- Appendix C: Survey 2 Form: "American Indian" Religions and Spirituality Stereotyping in Science Fiction TV Shows
- Appendix D: Interview Questions for Focus Group
- Appendix E: Categorizing the Comments
- Appendix F: Common Threads: Positive and Negative Comments on Stereotypical Depictions of "Indians" in the Episodes