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Important Terms, People, and Events


Blackfeet -   · Name given to three similar Algonkian-speaking Indian tribes in Alberta (Canada) and Montana.
Columbia River -   · The largest North American river flowing into the Pacific. It starts in the Canadian Rockies and flows through Washington and Oregon.
Fort Clatsop -   · The location in Oregon where the Lewis and Clark Expedition spent the winter of 1806.
Hidatsa -   · Native Americans of the Upper Missouri River. Related to the Sioux. It was a Hidatsa group that kidnapped Sacajawea from the Shoshoni.
Louisiana Territory -   · Western half of the Mississippi Basin, purchased from Napoleon in 1803 in the Louisiana Purchase, doubling the size of the United States.
Mandan -   · Native Americans of the Great Plains, who lived along the Missouri River. The Mandan language derives from Sioux.
Marias River -   · A river that flows through Montana into the Missouri River
Missouri River -   · The greatest of the Mississippi River's tributaries. The Missouri flows through Montana, North Dakota and South Dakota, among other states.
Nez Perce -   · A Native American tribe from central Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
Portage -   · "Portage" refers to the act of carrying boats across land, from one body of water to another.
Shoshoni -   · The Native American tribe into which Sacajawea was born. In the early 19th century and before, the Shoshoni spread through parts of what are today California, Nevada, Utah, Idaho and Wyoming.
Sioux -   · The Sioux constituted an important confederacy of seven Native American tribes in the American plains. (The Sioux normally refer to themselves as Lakota or Dakota, meaning "allies.")
Walla Wallas -   · A tribe of Native Americans living in Oregon in the 19th century
Yellowstone River -   · A river that starts in Wyoming, flows through what is today Yellowstone National Park, and passes through Montana and North Dakota before joining the Missouri River.


Cameahwait -  A Shoshoni chief, and Sacajawea's long lost brother.
Toussaint Charbonneau -  Sacajawea's husband, a French-Canadian trapper and trader. The Lewis and Clark Expedition hired him as an interpreter of Indian languages. Charbonneau—who, at 46, was by far the oldest man on the expedition—amazingly survived the rigorous journey, and lived to age 80. He was constantly causing problems and getting into accidents on the expedition, however. Charbonneau acquired Sacajawea from the Hidatsas, who had captured her, and made her one of his several Native American wives.
William Clark -  Along with Lewis, one of the captains of the Lewis and Clark Expedition, which between 1804 and 1806 explored the Louisiana Territory. Clark went on to help develop Missouri.
Jean Baptiste -  Sacajawea and Charbonneau's son. Also called "Pomp" (First-Born in Shoshoni), the infant Jean Baptiste rode on his mother's back throughout the Lewis and Clark Expedition's 8,000-mile journey. Clark offered to finance the boy's education, and paid for Jean Baptiste to go to Europe with Prince Paul of Wurtemburg; he came back speaking four languages. He later served as a well-known guide in the Great Plains and Rockies during the first half of the 19th century.
Meriwether Lewis -  Along with Clark, Lewis served as one of the captains leading the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1804-1806).
Otter Woman -  One of Toussaint Charbonneau's wives, a Native American woman.


Lewis and Clark Expedition -  An 1804-1806 expedition sent by US President Thomas Jefferson to explore the land called the Louisiana Territory, acquired in the 1803 Louisiana Purchase from France, and to search for the Northwest Passage, an hypothesized water-route linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Although they never found such a passage (none exists), the explorers uncovered a wealth of knowledge about America's native peoples, as well as its geography, flora, and fauna. The expedition's captains were Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who shared dual command over about 30 well-trained outdoorsmen. At Fort Mandan, the expedition hired Toussaint Charbonneau as an interpreter, and the French-Canadian trapper brought along his wife, Sacajawea, and their child, Jean Baptiste. Sacajawea proved far more useful to the expedition than her husband.

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