Lesson Plans for Teachers

In this unit of study, we describe how students in grades 3–5 can learn about and from Indigenous women changemakers and their professions, communities, and Native nations. We see this unit in relationship to broader efforts to embed Indigenous studies throughout curriculum. We also see this unit in connection with Margaret Golden’s 2006 article in Social Studies and the Young Learner, “Pocahontas: Comparing the Disney with Historical Evidence,” which challenges students to inquire into the historical inaccuracies and stereotypes presented in the Disney movie Pocahontas. Our unit sets the context for moving beyond stereotypes about Indigenous women to inquiring into how Indigenous women have and continue to be changemakers—women dedicated to improving the lives of others, the environment, and/or shattering barriers—in their professions, communities, nations and the world.