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Shoshone-Bannock Woman to Share Her New Book on Sacajawea
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Monday, May 6, 2024
 

BY KAREN BOSSICK

Learn the story of Sacajawea—a young girl who was taken from her people and became an instrumental part of the Lewis and Clark expedition—during a presentation on Friday, May 10.

Randy’L He-Dow Teton, a tribal member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes who live on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation near Pocatello, will discuss her new young adult book, “It’s her Story: Sacajawea,” at 5 p.m., Friday, May 10, at Ketchum’s Community Library. The story is told through the lens of a modern-day young Shoshone girl and her grandmother.

To see it in person, RSVP at https://thecommunitylibrary.libcal.com/event/12218198. Teton will sign her book at the event, as well as posters, and she will have for sale the 2000 Native American Dollar coin, for which she was the model.

The event also will be livestreamed at https://vimeo.com/event/4274037

“We are excited to bring Randy’L to the Library,” said Mary Tyson, director of the Center for Regional History. “The Wood River community will have the chance to hear what a dynamic and captivating storyteller she is. People, especially young people, are eager to soak up stories about women facing all odds. It’s so important to learn or re-learn Sacajawea’s story through the Shoshone lens.”

Teton’s book is a graphic novel illustrated by Ali McKnight. Teton learned the story of Sacajawea through the oral storytelling of her elders and family members. Many stories of Sacajawea come from the accounts of Lewis and Clark in their journals and focus solely on her role in the 1804-06 expedition. Teton’s book tells the story from the perspective of the Shoshone people.

Sacajawea was a Lemhi-Shoshone, and there is a Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural & Educational Center honoring her two miles east of Salmon, Idaho.

Teton, who was born and raised in southeastern Idaho, is a tribal member of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes. She served as the model for the 2020 U.S. Native American Dollar coin featuring Sacajawea and her infant son Jean Baptiste, who accompanied his mother to the Pacific Ocean and back, lived amidst European royalty for several years, then returned to the United States where he became a frontiersman and guide.

Teton also has curated Native American exhibits highlighting Shoshone-Bannock history and culture in several Idaho museums. She is writing a memoir as “the youngest and only living model” on U.S. currency.

Teton says she has been representing Sacajawea since 2000 when she traveled with the U.S. Mint to promote the golden dollar coin featuring Sacajawea and Jean Baptiste.

“I wrote this children's book to reflect a Shoshone storytelling of Sacajawea's journey from Salmon, Idaho, to the Pacific Ocean,” she said. “On Friday I will share her journey and my journey in representing her voice on a national level.”

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