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"Dances with Ignorance" is the 2nd episode of the third season of Pepper Ann. It aired on September 18, 1999.


While researching her family heritage, Pepper Ann finds out from her father that she's 1/16 Navajo Indian, but Pepper Ann's stereotypical views of American Indian culture gets her in trouble with a real Navajo family.


Mr. Finky assigns the class to do a report on their family history. Pepper Ann realizes that she has never asked about it before and asks Lydia and then her grandparents, though she finds all of it boring. She decides to ask Chuck who reveals that he is 1/8 Navajo Indian, meaning that Pepper Ann is 1/16. Pepper Ann is excited about doing a report on Navajo Indians, but it quickly becomes apparent that Pepper Ann is basing her information on how the media has portrayed them in the past. Nicky and Milo try to help her do her research, but she blindly ignores them.

Lydia manages to track down a real Navajo family to come and visit them. Upon arrival, Pepper Ann immediately begins to approach their visit with a slew of stereotypes; getting every detail wrong about them and not even letting them speak their piece. When she suggests they perform a rain dance, they become offended and leave with the elder Andy telling her that besides a belt that belonged to a shared ancestors, neither of them are similar in any way. Pepper Ann does not understand what she did wrong and claims she was taking pride in their heritage, forcing Lydia to tell her about stereotyping and the need to listen to others.

Pepper Ann and her family set up a second meeting with the Navajo family, this time at their house, and she apologizes for her racist attitude towards them. Though reluctant, the family gives her another chance, lets them in and Andy goes into detail describing how the Navajo was a name invented by settlers and that they call themselves the Dine who had traveled to the land 1200 years ago. The Navajo language was used in WWII to help send secret messages to the navy and was never broken. Pepper Ann gives a much more well informed presentation to a very excited class as well as her visiting family.


Desk Gag

"Ha ha, cool maracas!"


  • The episode makes a couple of references to Pocahontas:
    • When Pepper Ann brags about her "knowledge" of American Indian culture to Nicky and Milo, she says that her tribe can "paint with all the colors of the wind". During the reference, a scene transition of leaves blowing in the wind occurs.
    • Pepper Ann mentions to Carol (the mother of the Navajo family) that she was going for a Pocahontas type of hairstyle. Additionally, Carol is voiced by Pocahontas herself, Irene Bedard.
    • Dave (the son of the Navajo family) calls Pepper Ann "Poca-moron-as" when she comes over to apologize.
  • The episode was consulted on by historian Stephanie Fitzgerald.
  • Sue Rose claims this was the riskiest episode to make, because of the way Pepper Ann acted. Nevertheless, she regards this as her favorite episode of the series.[1]
  • The title of this episode is a spoof of the 1990 film Dances with Wolves.
  • This episode was released on VHS along with "The Telltale Fuzzy". While being the only time Pepper Ann was officially released on video, it was intended to be used by teachers as an educational tool. The video was available on the Disney Educational Productions website as late as 2005.


External links

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Season 1: "Ziterella" • "Romeo and Juliet" / "Food Barn" • "Old Best Friend" / "Crunch Pod" • "Psychic Moose" / "Doll and Chain" • "Megablades of Grass" / "Family Vacation" • "The Big Pencil" / "Sani-Paper" • "Uniform Uniformity" / "Snot Your Mother's Music" • "The Environ-Mentals" • "Crush and Burn" / "Soccer Season" • "Thanksgiving Dad" • "Sketch 22" / "Manly Milo" • "Have You Ever Been Unsupervised" / "The Unusual Suspects" • "Nicky Gone Bad" / "In Support of"

Season 2: "Quiz Bowl" / "License to Drive" • "Cocoon Gables" / "Green-Eyed Monster" • "Hazelnut's Finest" / "Cat Scan" • "An OtterBiography" / "GreenSleeves" • "Vanessa Less Tessa" / "Peer Counselor P.A." • "A 'Tween Halloween" / "Mash into Me" • "Presenting Stewart Waldinger" / "P.A.'s Life in a Nutshell" • "Like Riding a Bike" • "Radio Freak Hazelnut" / "Framed" • "Portrait of the Artist as a Young Milo" / "The Sisterhood" • "Impractical Jokes" / "Cold Feet" • "Doppelganger Didi" / "Pepper Ann's Day Off-Kilter" • "A No Hair Day" / "That's My Dad"
Season 3: "You Oughta Be in Musicals!" • "Dances with Ignorance" / "Girl Power" • "Beyond Good and Evel" / "One of the Guys" • "The Wash-Out" / "Def Comedy Mom" • "The First Date Club" / "Unicycle of Life" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "Effie Shrugged" / "Mom Knows What P.A. Did Two Nights Ago" • "The Spanish Imposition" / "Single Unemployed Mother"
Season 4: "Burn, Hazelnut, Burn" / "Career Daze" • "G.I. Janie" / "Miss Moose" • "Pepper Shaker" / "Flaw and Order" • "Baggy Bean Buddies" / "The Beans of Wrath" • "The Velvet Room" • "One Angry Woman" • "The Sellout" / "The Telltale Fuzzy" • "A Valentine's Day Tune" • "Sammy's Song" / "Permanent Record" • "Live and Let Dye" • "Remote Possibilities" / "Considering Constance" • "To Germany with Love" • "Bye, Bye Trinket" / "P.A.'s Pop Fly" • "My Mother, Myself" • "The Amazing Becky Little" • "The Untitled Milo Kamalani Project" / "Guess Who's Coming to the Theater" • "The Great Beyond" / "Jaybirds of a Feather" • "The Way They Were"
Season 5: "The One with Mr. Reason" / "Sense and Senselessness" • "Forging Ahead" / "Reality Bytes" • "Carmello" / "Strike it or Not" • "Complimentary Colors" • "The Merry Lives of Pepper Ann" • "A is for Average" / "Alice Kane Went Down to Calcutta" • "Spice of Life" / "T.G.I.F." • "Dear Debby" / "Too Cool to Be Mom" • "Moose in Love" / "Two's Company" • "Zen and the Art of Milo" / "That's My Mama Destructo" • "Unhappy Campers" / "Searching for Pepper Ann Pearson" • "The Word" / "The Perfect Couple" • "The Finale"

Hazelnut Middle SchoolPepper Ann's House
See also
House of Mouse