Explorers Heroes


by MacKenzie from Huntington

Sacajawea show Lewis which stream to follow
Sacajawea show Lewis which stream to follow

Sacajawea is my hero because she showed the world that women aren’t just for cooking and cleaning clothes, they’re something more important. She guided Lewis and Clark across the mountains at age 16 with a baby strapped on her back. She could have just walked away and refused to help but no, she was more than that. Her refusing them would mean the death of many white men, but her accepting their offer meant her doing the right thing. Guess which she chose?

When the men had no food, she caught small creatures and dug up roots for them to eat. Her traveling with them also meant that they could go to other Indians for food, horses, supplies, and clothes. Her carrying a child on her back helped other Indians not mistake them as a war party because no war party would keep a child with them. She also saved lots of important documents and medicines when the boat she was in almost capsized.

She never had the best life. When she was younger her name was Bo-I-Naiv which means Grass Woman. But later she was captured by a rival tribe and was bet in a card game and given to a Frenchman. Her name was then changed (I will not write what her name was changed to for it is too long and confuses me how to pronounce). Her name now meant Bird Woman. But when Lewis and Clarke met Charbonneau (the Frenchman and now Bo-I-Naiv’s husband) he could only speak French and Indian so Sacajawea translated. Barely after the journey had she given birth to her first son.

She led the explorers through two years of terrible weather and dangerous terrain. When they reached the Pacific Ocean there was a beached whale. As the white men collected oil and meat, she stared at the giant animal (whales wouldn’t have been as easy to get used to as the Pacific Ocean, huh?). Sources say she died either in the year of 1812 (Age: 21) or 1884 (Age: 106) Which makes more sense to you?

Because of the many services Sacajawea performed, with a baby on her back, Lewis and Clarke named a river after her. Without her we may have never seen anything west of the Rockies for much longer. And that is why she is my hero.

Page created on 9/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 9/29/2009 12:00:00 AM

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