Others say it was a Shoshoni word Sacatzahweyah. Its pronunciation is close to that of the more commonly used "Sacajawea," the spelling and pronunciation her tribe prefers today. In their language, it doesn't mean Bird Woman or Boat Launcher. It means a burden that is pulled or carried.
Until she was old enough to walk, Sacajawea spent much of her time in a cradleboard made of willow branches. Her mother carried it on her back. Babies quickly became accustomed to their cradleboards and felt secure and contented in them. That was important, because children had to be well-behaved. Enemies could be anywhere, and a crying child could give away an entire band. A baby who cried without a good reason got its nose pinched.
Agaidika bands wintered in the river valleys of the part of Idaho roughly bordered by the present-day towns of Carmen, Lemhi, North Fork and Challis. In the spring, they began their annual forays in search of food. Babies and small children were left at home with parents or aunts and uncles, who took turns staying with them.
"I've been to North Dakota and seen the sign saying 'home of Sacagawea.' I don't like what these other tribes are doing with their Sacagawea and Sagawaga and all that. In our language, her name is Sacajawea. It means burden." Snookins Honena The Agaidika prized their children. They gave them necklaces made with elk teeth, a symbol of status. They began teaching them almost from the time they were born, and everyone was expected to help with a child's education. Discipline for young children wasn't just their parents' responsibility. Grandparents, aunts and uncles, older siblings and others all had the authority to correct a child who was misbehaving.
Sacajawea's practical training for her tribe's difficult way of life began when she was a toddler. Agaidika children were expected to learn early and work hard. Their survival depended on it.