The lingering American perception of Pocahontas is some form of the Disney film version: a tribal chief’s daughter bravely steps in to save Jamestown settler John Smith from a grisly execution by his Indigenous captors. There is little to no evidence any of that happened. Pocahontas is currently making headlines because England is devoting a considerable amount of attention to the 400th anniversary of her death. She spent her final years in the European country after marrying an English man. In addition, President Donald Trump uses her name as an insult against a political foe. The American East Coast tribes that claim her, meanwhile, have no special recognition of Pocahontas. Will the general public ever really learn the truth about Pocahontas? Historians and tribal members help us update our portrait of Pocahontas’ life.
Robert Gray (Pamunkey) – Chief of the Pamunkey Tribe
Dr. Camilla Townsend – professor of history at Rutgers University
Break music: Prayer Loop (song) Supaman (artist)