I am Sacajawea, a Shoshoni Indian. I was a slave to the Hidatasa Indians and was traded to a French Canadian trapper and became his wife.
In 1805, I was 16 and about to give birth to my first child when Lewis and Clark came to our village looking for a guide and interpreter to take them into the lands to the west. Although I could neither read nor write, Lewis and Clark decided I would be useful because I spoke several Indian languages, and knew the lands and rivers beyond the mountains.
The white men's ways were not our ways and I worried about them because they did not understand the country or the native people. They would have suffered had I not shown them how to live more effectively. They had little knowledge of the plants or how to hunt some animals. They had books and a great deal of equipment, but they did not have all that was needed to take them safely to the waters of the Pacific and back again. Even though the baby on my back was very heavy, I enjoyed being a part of this experience. I was told later that my Knowledge of the land and plants, as well as my Knowledge of the languages and the Indian tribes had saved the Lewis and Clark Expedition.
Knowledge comes in a a variety of ways, and book knowledge is only a tiny part of what life offers. Book learning is of little value when the individual has no knowledge of the more practical things of life, such as caring for a home, or a sick child. Do you know how to cook a meal, or sew a dress? My meals were over an open fire, and the dresses I made were sown with bone needles and horse's hair. I am glad you have modern conveniences, and I hope you always have the blessings of a rich easy life, but I would caution you because, times can be hard. There will be times when you may have to do with very little. I hope you will seek knowledge at every opportunity, and that you will learn to cook, and to sew, and care for the needs of others. You will find there is joy in this and in all learning.
Sacajawea - Knowledge booklet ..............$4.00
Sacajawea - Knowledge 12"x16" poster.... $3.00