When President Jefferson formed the Corps of Discovery and sent Lewis and Clark on the famous expedition little did he know that his idea would destroy much of what was this Nation - 200 years ago this coming 2005. The famous trail from the East Coast to the Pacific Ocean!
Today, many people, noble tribes who roamed freely for thousands of years have had their culture destroyed. Many live on reservations and still many roam the streets of many cities confused and ill from the culture shock and diseases inflicted on them. We call them the First People of the Almighty United States of America. The Tribes.
There is no doubt in my mind that the First People were better off before they were invaded and their property taken from them. There is no doubt that when land is taken away from any people - the people and any person made land less - is made a captive of countless unknown factors. Further if one kills the soul by putting a stop to one language, the way one is comfortable living and dressing, eating and oneีs movements - this is the most despicable crime Western so called civilization branded upon the First People all over the Untied States of America. The curse of the Corps of Discovery.
On this first expedition accompanying the all men team was a woman - perhaps the greatest and most famous woman - she was Shoshone - she represented all that was good and noble - her name was SACAGAWEA.
We do not have an actual photograph or painting of Sacagawea but perhaps this is not necessary. Those that can capture the best have made a sculpture of Sacagawea. Others have visited the Shoshone and tried to paint a portrait and do some little justice from imagination.
Some years ago the Untied States Mint brought out a dollar coin depicting Sacagawea and her child. Millions of these dollars were minted and collectors made sure they hoarded as many of this one of kind dollar. The color of the dollar - gold!
Today, in our institution of learning very few know too much of the Corps of Discovery. Much less of Lewis and Clark who led the expedition. Even less of Sacagwea and her child who accompanied her of this expedition. Our schools inform but they do not educate.
As the Lewis and Clark expedition invaded territory, various Nations ruled by noble tribes - Sacagwea and her child were looked upon as ambassadors. Sacagwea acted as the liaison and spoke the required languages to make things easy for the strangers who were on a mission to map out the trial following the great rivers from the East Coast to the West. Report their finding to President Jefferson.
Some call the noble woman Sacagwea - others Sakawea - and yet others Sacajawea. What is in a name some one said - the most important fact that remains is that this woman had equal rights and was the most respected among the expedition. This we know from the writings and documentation of the famous expedition - the Corps of Discovery.
There were several instances when the members of the Corps of Discovery could have been killed or could have died from peril - again and again Sacagwea proved to be the one to save the expedition. Once the canoe turned to the side and most of the equipment and documents where floating around in the turbulent waters - the men looked while Sacagwea saved the contents.
What is known and what most men fail to state is that all along the expedition this woman carried with her an infant. This infant saw what the others saw - including the Pacific Ocean and returned back to the East Coast. This child suffered much and saw much and not much has been recorded about this child.
Much has been written about the Corps of Discovery. Those that were White were of course praised to high heaven and rewarded. Sacagwea and her infant were rewarded somewhat. The only Black - York was not rewarded at all - once a slave always a slave. York had to shout out for his freedom - he was incarcerated for years- and finally given his freedom.
It would be wise to remember this noble woman - Sacagwea. It is right that we honor her and her role. It is right that we honor her child. Often times men - mucho that they are - will steal the lime light on the backs of those who made it possible to put them on the stage of fame and fortune. Sacagwea will live forever and so will her son - great memories of a great time.
York the only African American - they would call him a Negro in those times - helped the Corps of Discovery. He has yet to be honored!
Of course we know that Lewis and Clark have made history forever. Please visit: www.lewis-clark.org.
200 years is not too long and the river banks that the Corps of Discovery followed have changed their course - history too has taken a course that has created the present day United States of America.
The original peoples of this Nation the First People. After 200 years we can see for ourselves what we have done good or not so good. The Department of Interior has stolen billions of dollars and cannot account for Trust Money that belongs to the Tribes. Many Tribes are treated, as second class citizens here in there own land. Still many are not recognized by the United States. Treaties were made and treaties broken - many have spoken with forked tongues and continue to do so today.
In the year 2005 there will be much fun fare. It is my hope that Sacagawea is given her rightful place in history. A noble woman with a noble hope - that all First People will be free and that what is due to them given to them without further ado.
That the strangers who were not here and now are here - remember who stole the land and who broke the promises.
That we speak the truth and live our lives with accountability and transparency.
That we respect Mother Earth and what is more learn to respect all forms of life.
If Sacajawea were alive she would agree.
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