Famous Native Americans

Sacajawea

Sacajawea

Sacajawea was a Shoshone Indian princess. The Shoshone lived from the Rocky Mountains to the Plains. They  lived primarily on buffalo meat. The Shoshone traveled for many days searching for buffalo. They hunted on horseback using the buffalo for food, clothing, homes, and tools.

One day while Sacajawea and her brother were hunting, the Minnetaree Indians attacked their Shoshone village. They killed Sacajawea's father and captured Sacajawea. Sacajawea went from being a princess to being a slave.

When Sacajawea became too old to be a Minnetaree slave she was sold to Charbonneau. Charbonneau was a trapper from Canada. He married Sacajawea and took her to the Mandan village. The Mandans lived much the same as the Minnetaree.

One day some white men guided by Lewis and Clark arrived in the Mandan village to the loud beating of the tom-toms. Charbonneau said he would travel west with Lewis and Clark when the spring came. They needed a guide. In February Sacajawea and Charbanneau had a baby and named him Pomp. Captain Clark wanted Sacajawea to travel with the group because she spoke the Shoshone language and could ask the Shoshone Indians for horses to travel west. Sacajawea was the only one who could speak the Shoshone language. Sacajawea represented peace as she traveled with Lewis and Clark because war parties did not travel with women and children.

Sacajawea
Sacajawea

While traveling a large gust of wind came up. The boat Sacajawea was traveling in filled with water. Sacajawea gathered up the supplies that were about to be lost in the river. Captain Clark was so grateful that he gave her a belt of blue beads.

They had many other adventures on the journey. When Lewis and Clark came to a waterfall they built wagons to carry the boats across the land. While traveling over land up a steep, rocky hill the rain poured and filled up the canyon. Sacajawea slipped. Captain Clark helped her and Pomp climb out. The travelers also ran into rattlesnakes and grizzly bears.

After coming to a three branch split in the river the group had to guess which branch to take. Captain Lewis named the river they were traveling on for his friend Thomas Jefferson.

Sacajawea knew she had reached her home when she found the rocks she had hidden behind during the Minnetaree raid. The explorers found old campfires and footprints, but no Indians. Sacajawea was sad when she walked through Indian village because she could not find her family. When Sacajawea reached the chief's teepee she found her brother. She told her brother how Clark had saved her life and that he was her friend. Then she asked for horses for their trip west.

Sacajawea had to decide if she would go on with Lewis and Clark, or stay with the Shoshone. She decided to go. Lewis and Clark traveled by horseback over the Rocky Mountains. The group then traveled on the rivers for three months.

After reaching the Pacific Ocean the men built a fort to live in during the winter. Sacajawea felt happy for helping Lewis and Clark find the Pacific Ocean and for also finding her people. In the spring Sacajawea returned to the Shoshone Indian village. When she returned Sacajawea could not find her brother. No one knows if she ever saw him again.

 

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