The true story of Sacajawea - Karen Mensing

پکیج: TED Education / سرفصل: زنان خوش رفتار، تاریخساز نیستند / درس 4

TED Education

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The true story of Sacajawea - Karen Mensing

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View full lesson- http-//ed.ted.com/lessons/the-true-story-of-sacajawea-karen-mensing In the early 19th century, a young Agaidika teenager named Sacajawea was enlisted by explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to aid her husband Toussaint Charbonneau as a guide to the Western United States. Karen Mensing debunks some of the myths that surround the familiar image of the heroic woman with a baby strapped to her back and a vast knowledge of the American wilderness. Lesson by Karen Mensing, animation by Flaming Medusa Studios Inc.

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You might think you know a lot about Native Americans through popular movies, books, and classes in school, but it turns out that a lot of what we think we know about famous Native American figures isn’t quite right. Take Sacajawea for example. You probably remember her as a beautiful Indian woman who lived an exotic life serving as the all-knowing guide for Lewis and Clark’s famous expedition, right? Well, that’s not exactly how it happened. Not much is known about Sacajawea’s early childhood, but we do know that she was born in 1788 into the Agaidika Tribe of the Lemhi Shoshone in what is now Idaho. In 1800, when she was about 12 years old, Sacajawea and several other girls were kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa Indians. She was taken as a captive to a Hidatsa village in present-day North Dakota. Then, she was sold to a French Canadian fur trapper named Toussaint Charbonneau. Within a year or so, she was pregnant with her first child. Soon after she became pregnant, the Corps of Discovery arrived near the Hidatsa villages. Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark built Fort Mandan there, and then started interviewing people to help guide them on their perilous expedition. They agreed to hire Sacajawea’s husband, Charbonneau, with the understanding that his lovely wife would also come along as an interpreter. They figured her very presence would help any encounters with native tribes along the way. As Clark noted in his journal, “A woman with a party of men is a token of peace.” Shortly thereafter, Sacajawea gave birth to a little boy named Jean Baptiste Charbonneau. Clark called him Pompy. She carried Pompy on a board strapped to her back as the Corps of Discovery forged on. Besides interpreting the language when Lewis and Clark encountered Indians, Sacajawea’s activities as a member of the Corps included digging for roots, collecting edible plants, and picking berries. In 1805, the boat they were riding in was capsized. She dove into the water, recovering all the important papers and supplies that would otherwise have been lost, including the journals and records of Lewis and Clark. Later that year, Captain Lewis and three men scouted 75 miles ahead of the expedition’s main party, crossing the Continental Divide. The next day they encountered a group of Shishones. Not only did they prove to be Sacajawea’s band, but their leader, Chief Cameahwait, turned out to be her very own brother. After five years of separation since her kidnapping as a young girl, Sacajawea and Cameahwait had an emotional reunion. Unfortunately, she quickly had to bid farewell to her beloved brother and continue on with the journey. At one point, the expedition became so difficult and freezing, the group was reduced to eating candles to survive. When temperatures finally became more bearable, Sacajawea found, dug, and cooked roots to help the group regain their strength. On the return trip, they encountered an Indian wearing a beautiful fur robe. Lewis and Clark wanted to bring the robe to Thomas Jefferson as a gift but had nothing to trade for it. So, Sacajawea agreed to trade her most precious possession, her beaded belt, for the fur. A little over two years after the expedition began, it was finally over, ending in St. Louis. Today, we learn about Sacajawea in school as a heroic guide, but her life, like most everyone’s, was much more complicated than history books sometimes give her credit for.

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