American Indian images, names, and stories infuse American history and contemporary life. Pervasive, powerful, at times demeaning, the images, names, and stories reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have
The story of Sacagawea, the Shoshone woman who kept the Lewis and Clark expedition of November 1804 is well known. She helped save the expedition several times from starvation, disaster and mis-direction thanks to her negotiating skills, knowledge in medicinal herbs and knowledge of the terrain. Much of what is common knowledge is romantic history, however. Sacagawea is best remembered as a guide across the Northern Plains. Her people, the Lemhi Shoshone, or Snake People, spent much of the year traveling in small groups. From about 1700, the Shoshone had horses, probably pintos and Appaloosas acquired from the Nez Perce. In the fall of 1800, when Sacagawea was around 10 years old, her group was camped near the three forks of the Missouri River. Suddenly, a band of Hidatsa (also called Minataree) attacked. The Shoshone bows and arrows were useless against the Hidatsa's rifles. Sacagawea and others were captured and taken back to the Hidatsa villages near present-day Stanton, North Dakota.