Stereotypes of indigenous peoples of Canada and the United States

Stereotypes of Indigenous peoples of Canada and the United States of America include many ethnic stereotypes found worldwide which include historical misrepresentations and the oversimplification of hundreds of Indigenous cultures. Negative stereotypes are associated with prejudice and discrimination that continue to affect the lives of Indigenous peoples.[1]

A logo variation of the fictional MLB mascot Chief Wahoo, used by the Cleveland Indians from 1946 to 1950, which exhibits the stereotypical image of an American Indigenous (Native American) person

Indigenous peoples of the Americas are commonly called Native Americans (United States excluding Alaska and Hawaii), Alaska Natives, or First Nations people (in Canada).[2] The Circumpolar peoples, often referred to by the English term Eskimo, have a distinct set of stereotypes. Eskimo itself is an exonym, deriving from phrases that Algonquin tribes used for their northern neighbors.[3]

It is believed that some portrayals of Natives, such as their depiction as bloodthirsty savages have disappeared. However, most portrayals are oversimplified and inaccurate; these stereotypes are found particularly in popular media which is the main source of mainstream images of Indigenous peoples worldwide.[4][5]

The stereotyping of American Indians must be understood in the context of history which includes conquest, forced displacement, and organized efforts to eradicate native cultures, such as the boarding schools of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which separated young Native Americans from their families to educate and to assimilate them as European Americans.[6]