la storia della donna eroe

golden dollar


Randy’L He-dow Teton - born 1976 - is a Shoshone-Bannock/Cree from the Lincoln Creek district of the Fort Hall Reservation in Southeastern Idaho - who posed as the model for the US Sacagawea dollar coin first issued in 2000.   She graduated from the University of New Mexico at 24 with a BA in Art History and a minor in Native American Studies. -  -




She was a slave, a woman and an Indian. And America might not be what it is today without Sacagawea.
Sacagawea was probably born in 1790 in what is now Idaho. A member of the Shoshone tribe, she was kidnapped as a child by the Hidatsa tribe. The Hidatsas sold her as a slave to the Mandan Sioux of modern-day North Dakota.
There are conflicting stories, but Sacagawea ended up with a Canadian trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. One story says he won her and another Indian woman in a bet.

Others say Charbonneau bought the women. Whatever the truth, by the winter of 1805, the two were a couple, and Sacagawea was pregnant and near term. That sets the stage.Two years earlier, President Thomas Jefferson had sent emissaries to France to buy New Orleans. He believed U.S. interests mandated that the city, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, be part of the country. Alternatively, the emissaries were to negotiate free navigation of the river.
But Napoleon had another idea. He needed money and offered a deal: France's entire Louisiana Territory for a

then-kingly $15 million. Jefferson jumped at it. So what was out there? Before the Louisiana Purchase, the United States of America ended at the Mississippi. The fact is, white Easterners at the time knew more about the face of the moon than the interior of the North  American continent -- and the U.S. government had just bought 800,000 square miles of it sight unseen. Jefferson sent his private secretary, Army Capt. Meriwether Lewis, to explore. Lewis recruited Lt. William Clark and the Corps of Discovery and in 1804 set off up the Missouri River into terra incognita. The all-male, all-single, mostly soldier group was to map, observe and record everything and to find a navigable water route to the Pacific.
Lewis and Clark realized they would need interpreters to speak with the Indian tribes they expected to meet. In 1805, they wintered at the Mandan village along the Missouri. There, they hired Charbonneau as an interpreter and guide.
Along with Charbonneau came Sacagawea. The thinking was she could help translate when the expedition reached her native area. The Indian teen-ager gave birth to a son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, on Feb. 12, 1805, in the Mandan village. The baby was strapped to his mother's back when the expedition left the Mandans that April.The expedition continued up the Missouri River. Stories told over the years have Sacagawea guiding Lewis and Clark through the wilderness, interpreting for them and keeping them out of harm's way more than a few times. There are contrarians.
Historian Stephen Ambrose, in "Undaunted Courage his book about the Lewis and Clark expedition, contends Sacagawea was not a guide and that neither Lewis nor Clark thought of consulting her even when she clearly could have helped. The two seem to have asked for her advice only once -- for a route when they entered her people's hunting grounds. She pointed them up a tributary of the Beaverhead River.
What is not disputed are the events following Sacagawea's reunion with her tribe on Aug. 15, 1805. If what happened had been part of a Hollywood movie, critics probably would have panned it as unrealistic. Lewis met with the chief of the Shoshones. Sacagawea listened to the parlay and then recognized the chief was her brother, Cameahwait.
Her relationship to the chief cemented the expedition's standing with the tribe. It also may have been the critical breakthrough Lewis and Clark needed to reach the Pacific and return. They desperately needed Indian help to get over the Bitterroot Mountains of Montana and Idaho.
Cameahwait sold horses to the travelers and provided a guide to lead them across the Bitterroots. Even with Shoshone help, the expedition suffered many hardships going over the mountains. Had Sacagewea not helped them establish a rapport with Cameahwait, the explorers would certainly have fared far worse.
Eventually, Lewis and Clark met up with the Nez Perce tribe and made their way to the Columbia River and to the Pacific Ocean. They wintered over at the mouth of the Columbia and started home in the spring. When the party reached the Mandan village, Charbonneau and Sacagawea stayed behind.
Following the expedition, Clark offered to school Jean Baptiste. Charbonneau and Sacagawea accepted the offer and moved to the St. Louis area. They had a daughter named Lizette and then moved back to the Mandan village in 1811.
Sacagawea died of "putrid fever" on Dec. 20, 1812, or maybe not. Shoshone oral tradition says she returned to the Shoshones and settled at the Wind River reservation in modern-day Wyoming. Tribal tradition says she died on April 9, 1884, and is buried there.
A slave, an Indian and a woman, Sacagawea received little respect during her lifetime. Today, the United States recognizes her and her place in American history through its new Golden Dollar coin. The front features a portrait of her and a bundled Jean Baptiste.   -    MONUMENT IN SOUTH DAKOTA    -   GRAVE  FORT WASHAKIE WYOMING


Who Was Sacagawea?
Sacagawea was the Shoshone Indian who assisted the historic Lewis and Clark expedition. Between 1804-1806, while still a teenager, she guided the adventurers from the Northern Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean and back. Her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, and their son who was born during the trip, Jean Baptiste, also accompanied the group.
Without Sacagawea's navigational, diplomatic, and translating skills, the famous Lewis and Clark expedition would have perished. For one, she helped Lewis and Clark obtain the horses they needed to continue their journey. - 2014




Sacajawea ... Sakakawea ... Sacagawea

Sacajawea  ? Sakakawea   ? or Sacajawea   ? What is the correct spelling of the name of the American Indian woman who accompanied Lewis and Clark on their western journey in the early years of the 19th Century ?   That depends on which source one consults; there is no uniform consensus. According to her husband, her name meant Bird Woman. In the Hidatsa language its correct spelling is  "Tsakaka-wias."    Wyoming and several other Western states spell it   "Sacajawea,"    a Shoshone word for "Boat-Launcher."    In Clark's own journal entry, dated April 7, 1805, her name is rendered as as    Sah-kah-gar-wea  .   indian native   -



May 14, 1805 -  The boat Sacajawea was riding in was hit by a high wind and nearly capsized.  Her calmness earned her compliments from the Captains.   "The Indian woman to whom I ascribe equal fortitude and resolution, with any person onboard at the time of the accident, caught and preserved most of the light articles which were washed overboard". 

July 28, 1805 - Sacajawea was a remarkable woman in time of sorrow.

"Our camp is precisely on the spot that the Snake Indians were encamped at the time the Minnetares of the Knife River first came in sight of them five years since.   From hence they retreated about three miles up Jefferson's River and concealed themselves in the woods, the Minnetares pursued, attacked them, killed 4 men, 4 women, a number of boys, and made prisoners of all the females and four boys, Sacajawea was one of the female prisoners. I cannot discover that she shows any emotion of sorrow in recollecting this event, or of joy in being restored to her native country; if she has enough to eat and a few trinkets to wear I believe she would be perfectly content anywhere..."

August 8, 1805 - Sacajawea was attached to her country and kin.

"The Indian woman recognized the point of a high plain to our right which she informed us was not very distance from the summer retreat of her nation on a river beyond the mountains which runs to the west.  This hill she says her nation calls the Beaver's Head, as it resembles the head of that animal.  She assures us that we shall either find her people o this river or on the river immediately west..."

August 17, 1805 - Five years later, Sacajawea had an emotional reunion with her brother, Chief Cameahwait; it was Sacajawea who secured the horses that the Expedition needed.
"Clark saw Sacajawea, who was with her husband 100 yards ahead, began to dance and show every mark of the most extravagant joy, turning round him and pointing to several Indians, whom he now saw advancing on horseback, sucking her fingers to indicate that they were of her native tribe"...
"She came into the tent, sat down, and was beginning to interpret, when in the person of Cameahwait she recognized her brother;  She instantly jumped up, and ran and embraced him, throwing over him her blanket and weeping profusely..."

October 19, 1805 - The presence of Sacajawea was an invitation to the Indians that the white people came in peace. "The sight of this Indian woman, wife to one of our interprs. confirmed those people of our friendly intentions, as no woman ever accompanies a war party of Indians in this quarter..."

November 20, 1805 - Sacajawea, always pleasing the Captains. "one of the Indians had on a roab made of 2 Sea Otters Skins the fur of them were more butifull than any fur I had ever seen  both Capt. Lewis & my Self endeavored to purchase the roab with differant articles  at length we precurred it for a belt of blue beeds which the - wife of our interpreter Shabono wore around her waste..."

November 24, 1805 -  Reaching the place where the Columbia River empties into the Pacific Ocean, the members  of the Expedition were given the right to vote on the location where they would settle for the winter.   Sacajawea (Janey) in favor of a place where there is plenty of Potas.

January 7, 1806 - A whale had washed ashore, near present day Seaside/Cannon Beach, Oregon.   Sacajawea accompanied the group to the ocean.  "...she observed that she had traveled a long way with us to see the great waters, and that now that monstrous ish was also to be seen,..."

July 15, 1806 - Sacajawea proved a valuable guide on the return journey.   She remembered trails from her childhood; the most important trail was a large road that passed through a gap in the mountain, which led to Yellowstone River.  Today, it is known as Bozeman Pass, Montana.

August 14, 1806 - End of the Journey for Sacajawea... returning to the Hidatsa-Mandan Village. " I offered to take the little son a butifull promising child who is 19 months old to which they both himself & wife were willing provided the child had been weened.  They observed that in one year the boy would be sufficiently old to leave  his mother & he would then take him to me if I would be so friendly as to raise the child ... to which I agreed".  Capt. Clarks' Journal Entry August 17, 1806



Shoshone or Comanche Name

English Translation


Bird woman 


boat launcher


Lost woman


Guide of White river men


Grass Maiden

Bazil’s mother of Bazil Umba






Nyah Suwite

constant lover


 he Old Comanche woman



Sacagawea can be a role model for women because she was a wife and a mother at the
same time as she was working hard for what was the best for the expedition. She must have had an incredible amount of strength to carry her baby on her back while gathering food, walking nearly across a continent, and acting as a sort of “ambassadress” to all the Indian nations.






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