We are witnessing a cultural shakedown right now. The old rules on gender and race are undergoing major transitions, and how we use language is changing too. Updates to the toolkit for bias-free writing are more important than ever for writers and editors. Simply put, language that offends people is going to put your credibility on the line.
In my last blog post, I talked about the techniques writers and editors can use to avoid gender bias. In this post, I’m going to take a closer look at bias in relation to Indigenous Peoples.
Self-identification is crucial to respectful and accurate cover of Indigenous people and communities. Ask what they prefer to be called.” -- Lenny Carpenter, Style Guide for Reporting on Indigenous Peoples
When I launched my editing business in 2015, I wrote down my mission: To help create quality books that make life better for readers, by offering up informed stories - true or fictional - that build empathy, wonder, and hope. Those guiding words seem even more relevant today than they were back in 2015, before the world was subjected to such heavy doses of He Who Cannot Be Named, as I tend to call him (and I don’t mean Lord Voldemort).