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Counter Narratives

What is a Counter Narrative?

Per the definition given in Sara B. Demoiny and Jessica Ferraras-Stone's article "Critical Literacy in Elementary Social Studies: Juxtaposing Historical Master and Counter Narratives in Picture Books" (2018), a counter narrative will accomplish the following when recounting historical events:

  1. “Explore differences rather than making them invisible,

  2. Enrich understandings of history and life by giving voice to those traditionally silenced or marginalized,

  3. Show how people can begin to take action on important social issues,

  4. Explore dominant systems of meaning that operate in our society to position people and groups of people as ‘others,’

  5. Don’t provide ‘happily ever after’ endings for complex social problems.” (Richardson and Hatch 2009, cited in Demoiny and Ferraras-Stone 2018, 5)


Transform Assumptions About Pocahontas


List of Pocahontas counter narratives that can transform recurring prominent and harmful assertions within the master narrative about Pocahontas, Powhatans, and colonialism


Read Recommended Pocahontas Counter Narratives


Selection of several recommended resources that effectively complicate the Pocahontas master narrative, each paired with lesson plan prompts and suggestions


Explore Further

Pocahontas and Native American History Counter Narratives


List of further Pocahontas counter narrative bibliographies, books, lesson plans, and websites for educators

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