STORIES
Women

sacajawea

by anais

My hero is Sacajawea. Sacajawea was born in about 1790 in what is now the state of Idaho. She was one of the "Snake People," otherwise known as the Shoshone. Her name in Hidatsa was Tsi-ki-ka-wi-as, "Bird Woman." In Shoshone, her name means "Boat Pusher." She was stolen during a raid by a Hidatsa tribe when she was a young and taken to their village near what is now Bismarck, N. Dakota.

Some time afterward the French-Canadian trapper and fur trader, Charbonneau, bought Sacajawea and her companion, Otter Woman, as wives. When her husband joined the expedition at Fort Mandan in the Dakotas, Sacajawea was about 16 years old and pregnant. One of the many reasons for having Sacajawea with them was/were that the presence of a woman and baby would establish the peaceful nature of the party. Secondly a Native translator and negotiator with knowledge of the languages, customs and tribes of the country were essential. Because of the expedition’s success and how much Lewis and Clark admired and respected Sacajawea, Lewis & Clark named a river "Sacajawea" in her honor.

Captured at the age of twelve, Sacajawea's contributions helped find the boundaries of America. Many years later, she is still a role model for many people.

Sacajawea belonged to the Shoshone tribe. She was the fastest horse-rider in her tribe. She was even faster than her brother (who became a Shoshone leader, though not as important as his father had been), though she didn't have much time to practice, because she was a woman, and she had many responsibilities.

Sacajawea is my hero because she showed that she can do anything and she proved herself to be very tough by co-leading a 6-1/2 month, 4,000 mile journey and carrying her infant child along the way. One account says that she died of "putrid fever" (smallpox, tuberculosis, scarlet fever??) at age 25 and even Clark's account of the members of his expedition mark her as vital.

My present hero is my mother because she has always been there for me. She has been through tough times. Some of Sacajawea’s traits also reside in my mother. They are both strong women who are extremely respectful and are very nurturing mothers who would do anything for their family. The thing that I admire most about my mother is that she holds her head up tall no matter what the circumstances are.

Page created on 11/26/2004 12:00:00 AM

Last edited 11/26/2004 12:00:00 AM

The beliefs, viewpoints and opinions expressed in this hero submission on the website are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs, viewpoints and opinions of The MY HERO Project and its staff.