People of American Indian and Alaska Native descent make up 2% of the U.S. population. This is a fraction of the precolonial indigenous population, once estimated at 12 million people. On the positive, the numbers are rising and the federal government recognizes 562 tribal governments. In spite of these trends, Native Americans receive very limited and distorted coverage in mainstream media in ways that may carry negative implications for social advancement, mental health, and race relations. Since the 1980s, some tribal communities have undertaken efforts to produce and distribute media content featuring indigenous viewpoints. This entry provides an overview of Native American television programming, including the underrepresentation of Native Americans in traditional media, limited portrayal contexts, stereotypes and their implications, as well as positive trends ...

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