Pottermore released the first chapter entitled “Fourteenth Century – Seventeenth Century” from “History of Magic in North America.” However, not everyone is happy about it. The story speaks of Native Americans and touches on on “skinwalkers.” Many readers are getting miffed because there is more to Native Americans than mysticism and that their beliefs are not fictional.
Dr. Adrienne Keene is a Harvard graduate who has studied culture, communities and education and is now a postdoctoral fellow at Brown University in Native American Studies. She has critiqued J.K. Rowling’s latest story on her website, Native Appropriations, as well as on Twitter.
In fact, the reactions started coming in even before the story released. All it needed was one look at the trailer for fans to speak up against the representation of Native Americans.
Readers have taken to Twitter to express their dislike for “History of Magic in North America,” reveals Refinery 29. For instance Kathryn NicDhàna asked Rowling to “not diss her Native fans this way.” Another Twitter user, Derek Pounds, states that he loves Rowling’s books and requests the author to treats Natives with respect and dignity. “I love your books. Please treat Native Americans with the dignity and respect we deserve. We have been invisible for too long.”
The issue, according to Teen Vogue, is that “History of Magic in North America” trailer speaks about the Navajo idea of skinwalkers in the same breath as Ilvermorny, the fictional American wizarding school. However, Native American beliefs and traditions are not fictional. The people and their way of life is very real.
“But we’re not magical creatures, we’re contemporary peoples who are still here, and still practice our spiritual traditions, traditions that are not akin to a completely imaginary wizarding world (as badass as that wizarding world is),” said Keene on Native Appropriations. “Native spirituality and religions are not fantasy on the same level as wizards. These beliefs are alive, practiced, and protected,” she added.
J.K. Rowling has not made any comments so far.