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Last month, social media was abuzz when Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling gave away some details about a screenplay she’s writing. It would expand her Harry Potter wizard world to North America. It was revealed that some of the characters we meet in this story will have studied at a school where Indigenous magic was important to its founding. At first glance some people might be excited to hear Native Americans will get some spotlight in this future fantasy fiction, which will probably have instant success and give way to a marketing boom. How will this nod to Indigenous culture affect our nations? Will it muddy our culture? Will it contribute to more stereotypes? What are your hopes and concerns about this new magical series? How should Native stories be portrayed in popular fiction? Also, what do you want to tell non-Native writers who use Native characters and imagery?
Lee Francis IV (Pueblo of Laguna) – national director of Wordcraft Circle of Native Writers and Storytellers
Sherman Alexie (Coeur d’Alene) – writer and author
Break Music: Two-Sidedness (song) Samantha Crain (artist) You (Understood) (album)
Charlotte Ashley says
I think it would be irresponsible of Rowling *not* to figure indigenous cultures centrally in any North American wizarding school, to just whitewash the history and culture there, but I really have no idea how she might actually treat the material. I hope she and her editors have the sensitivity and the smarts to consult with indigenous people every inch of the way.