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Illustration: Her brotherOne of the most famous entries in the journals of Lewis and Clark, written when they achieved their heart´s desire of reaching the Pacific Ocean, is "O! the joy." For Sacajawea, the equivalent moment occurred on Aug. 17, 1805.
By then, the Corps of Discovery was in the homeland of her people. Though some Lemhi people blame Sacajawea for showing the white men her homeland, others say she had no choice. The day began auspiciously when she was reunited with a friend who had been captured with her but escaped. Later, Lewis ordered a conference with the Shoshoni chiefs. To communicate with him, they spoke to Sacajawea, who translated to Hidatsa for Charbonneau, who translated to French for one of the corps´ privates, who translated to English for Lewis. Sacajawea was looking at the Shoshoni leaders when Lewis realized that she was capable of emotion, after all.
Photo: Dan Arriwite Photo: Lemhi Speak Text "Lewis and Clark asked Cameahwait if he would take them over the mountains. He said 'No, I won't go.' He was worried about Blackfeet raiding parties. They thought he was telling them his name. That's wrong. Ask any Lemhi. 'Cameahwait' in our language means 'I won't go.' It wasn't his name. No one knows what his real name was."  Dan Arriwite Away from her people for five years, traveling for months over an uncertain route and arriving just in time for a hastily arranged meeting, she recognized the leader of the Shoshoni chiefs as her own brother. Forgetting her deeply ingrained belief that women were to remain submissive and respectful at important conferences, she ran to its most important person, hugged him, threw a blanket over him and wept.
Lewis and Clark wanted the chief and some of the members of his band to help them cross the Bitterroot Mountains to Nez Perce territory and the rivers they hoped would take them to the sea. The Shoshonis, concerned that they could encounter Blackfeet raiding parties en route, were reluctant. Their chief agreed to help, but by then considerable misgivings had been expressed.
The chief´s name for nearly two centuries has been given as Cameahwait, which Lewis accepted as meaning "one who never walks." Lemhi Shoshonis today say it means "I won´t go." Some believe that his name wasn´t Cameahwait at all, that his or his braves´ refusal to go over the mountains was at some point misinterpreted as his name, and that no one today knows what his real name was.

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The Idaho Statesman - Always Idaho -
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