The Real Golden Dollar Lady
There is no end to the misrepresentations and distortions of Native American history. When present day writers research information germane to Indian culture they rarely go to the Elders of the Tribes, rather they go to the history books written by White men or to those Indians who make a living by telling tall tales to the White man.
The Detroit Free Press presented an extensive article titled “ On the trail of Lewis and Clark” March 18, 2004. It isn’t my intent to question the facts in the article. I wasn’t there I don’t know, however I doubt much of its accuracy. Pure logic tells me much in the Ledgers of the Lewis and Clark expedition were distorted. Upon a review of actual incidents they were perhaps altered for future historical purposes and not accuracy.
Some of the errors made by the expedition were monumental. Mistakes no Indian would have made. No Indian would have attempted to navigate the Salmon River of Central Idaho through the mountains. No Indian would have crossed the Bitterroot Mountains at Lemhi knowing they could ride their ponies south and follow the Snake River through the mountains on a relatively unobstructed route
It is more likely the advice of the Indians was ignored and the arrogance of the Captains prevailed. I seriously doubt two Distinguished Captains appointed by the President to explore a continent would take orders from a Savage-Indian teenage-girl.
The accumulative knowledge of the Tribes between St. Louis and the Pacific Ocean would have been as well documented and as accurate as a Rand McNally Road Atlas is today. Like I said, it’s all speculation I wasn’t there.
My objection is what they left out or blatantly misrepresented. In describing the Golden Dollar Coin with an image of Sacagawea, minted to honor Native Americans. Credit for the image on the coin was given to Shoshona Tillman of the Wind River Reservation Wyoming. She may have been a contestant but she is not the image. The Image on the coin is Randy‘L He-Dew Teton, Shoshone-Bannock Tribe at the Fort Hall Idaho Reservation.
Several people contributing information for the Article in the Free Press claim to be descendents of Sacagawea. Is it true? Possibly? Sacagawea had two children, a boy who was adopted by Captain Clark and later sent to live in Europe. Never to be heard from again. The other, a daughter, who supposedly died with her Mother in childbirth. But there were Uncles, Aunts and Cousins. The Tribal Elders would know. Do I know? No!
There’s a story in my family, that we had a Great Uncle [Sergeant Robert Hughes] who was killed with General George Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Is it true? Probably not! But, it’s our story and we’re sticking with it.
Native Unity - A place for Native American Peoples to solidify their tribes to make a positive impact on the cultural, social, economic and political fabric of American society and a place for non-Natives to better understand the ways of the American Indian.