Dr. Karen Decker Harvey passed away peacefully at home in Denver on January 30, 2021 surrounded by her family.
A lifelong educator, Karen was born in Wayne, Nebraska in 1935. She obtained her BA at the University of Nebraska, and her Master's and Doctorate degrees in Education at Northern Illinois University. Karen began her professional career in Colorado at the
University of Colorado Denver where she was Director of Teacher Certification from 1978 - 1984. Subsequently, she served as Director of Staff Development for Cherry Creek Schools and retired as Associate Dean of DU's University College. Throughout her
career, she wrote and published numerous books and professional articles with a focus on Native American education.
Karen is survived by her sister Judy Decker Krhounek, her four children, and her four grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents Freeman and Constance Decker. She will live on in all those she touched with her love and generosity.
From the "Something About the Author" encyclopedias:
"..."My first naive assumption was that I, with my knowledge about kids, teachers, schools, and education, could help. I have come to learn that Indian people have always known what is best for their children and Rough Rock (Community School, Navajo
Nation) continues to demonstrate that principle. Furthermore, the best way I can be of service to Indian teachers and students is to provide to Indian and non-Indian educators of all young people straightforward, user-friendly, unbiased knowledge of the
history of Indian people and their cultures and make culturally accurate information about the enduring beauty and value of Indian cultures readily accessible to them. It is unjust, uninformed, cruel power and prejudice that have eaten away at the hearts
of Indian people and their ancient cultures and traditions..."
(With Lisa D. Harjo and J. K. Jackson) Teaching about Native Americans, National Council for the Social Studies (Washington, DC), 1990, 2nd edition, 1998.
Indians of the Great Plains ( "Unfolding World" series), illustrated by Mike Embden, Running Press (Philadelphia, PA), 1993.
(With Lisa D. Harjo) Indian Country: A History of Native People in America, North American Press (Washington, DC), 1994.
(With Lisa D. Harjo) Indian Country Teachers' Guide, North American Press, 1994.
(With Lisa D. Harjo and Lynda Welborn) How to Teach about American Indians: A Guide for the School Library Media Specialist ( "Greenwood Professional Guides in School Librarianship" series), Greenwood Press (Westport, CT), 1995.
(Editor and author of introduction and notes) American Indian Voices ( "Writers of America" series), Millbrook Press (Brookfield, CT), 1995.