Train Up a Child

“Grown men can learn from very little children for the hearts of the little children are pure. Therefore, the Great Spirit may show to them many things which older people miss.”

~ Black Elk

Thoughts from the Story of Sacajawea — 

It is February 11,1805. The biting wind rattles the shutters of the room at Fort Mandan. Outside, a full moon shimmers off the icy backs of buffalo, and a wolf stretches his neck out to howl across the frozen river.

It is a frigid night, yet a night that changes everything … for a newborn babe is born at Fort Mandan. Sacajawea, only 16 years old, through a difficult and painful birth, delivers her first child, a son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau (Pomp). The explorers don’t realize it, but that night miraculously “shifts” the energy of the entire expedition. That night the “Universe” calls each of them to a new, higher purpose, through a brilliant Light – a child with unlimited possibilities.

Concept Artwork by Marcia K. Moore

At the time, the explorers and Sacajawea, did not know their position in the matrix of history. In fact, Captain Lewis had his doubts about taking a baby on that harrowing trek. None of the men understood the child’s importance for future generations. But, through the experience, each of the men were “called” to this unique moment in time, to help nurture the first-year of a child’s life. Indeed, it was a journey of discovery in more ways than one.

They watched him smile and laugh for the first time, they watched him crawl and walk and begin to eat on his own, and talk. They worried for his safety and some nearly gave their lives for his life. York, 6’4” African American slave, sang to him and carried him high above his head around the camp fire. Captain Clark loved him so much he nicknamed him “Pomp,” and called him his “little dancing boy.” They all cheered when he took his first step after a particularly stressful day on the trail.

The foundation of a human being’s journey begins in the first year of life.  Like a sponge they soak up every light and dark moment. Sacajawea and 31 men gave this little boy his beginning, and the expedition was far more enriched and powerful because of the child. Children are brought into our lives not only for us to teach them, but for them to teach us how to remember our spiritual selves – the ultimate calling. In Sacajawea’s story, it is Pomp who helps his mother deliver the prayer at the Great Water – a message to all people of the world.

After the expedition, Captain Clark did not forget about Pomp. When he was nine years old, the captain became his benefactor and gave him an education. The young man grew up and traveled to Europe, where he learned five languages and danced with queens.

Ultimately, Pomp became an explorer and an interpreter, known as a “storyteller” around the campfires of the old west. And, what incredible stories he had to tell! No one knows what his life would have been like, if he had not been apart of the Lewis and Clark expedition.  But, indeed, he was richly blessed with a unique and magnificent “first-year” journey of a lifetime.

ONWARD, toward our Quest.
Jane

Leo T. Ariwite, Sacajawea Descendant, Joins the Sacajawea Film as Associate Producer

Captain William Clark wrote this to Sacajawea’s husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, in 1806:

“[Y]our woman who accompanied you that long dangerous and fatigueing rout to the Pacific Ocian and back diserved a greater reward for her attention and services on that rout than we had in our power to give her…”

People of America, we have in our power today to give Sacajawea the acknowledgement and reward she deserves

Leo T. Ariwite, Shoshoni Liaison 2019

I am so very proud and humbled to welcome Leo T. Ariwite, to the Sacajawea production team as Associate Producer. Leo has been on the production for many years as an adviser. He has given us a powerful endorsement that we have cherished for over seven years. Up until now, his quote has only been shared confidentially, but as our Shoshoni liaison, Leo has given us permission to now share it with the world (read it below).

With the telling of her story, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, we wish to illuminate her quest, and the quest of her People, the Agai’dika Shoshoni. 

The “heart” of this production is the spirit of Sacajawea and her love for her People. This journey transcends time and space. It is mesmerizing and astonishing how this incredible path has unfolded, intersecting lives from 200 years ago, with lives from today.

In 2004, while researching for the script, I came across a petition by Leo. This was during the bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark expedition. In the document, the Agai’dika Shoshoni People were petitioning the Federal government to acknowledge their People and return to them their sacred mountains and the Salmon River and Lemhi River areas in Idaho. Their requests have fallen on deaf ears. 

Over these many years, since our initial contact in 2004, we have met with Leo four times (twice at Fort Hall, Idaho, once at Sacajawea’s birthplace in Salmon, Idaho and last year in Sun Valley). Leo is a valuable adviser, establishing authenticity, and he’s a credible advocate for the project. As a direct descendant of Sacajawea, he is the inspiration we’ve needed through some difficult times, always encouraging us to keep going.

On July 13, 2013, I received this email from Leo. It is his response to the unyielding force that has driven this Sacajawea project now for 17 years.

“Jane,
Your endeavors have brought you to our doorstep and now that the door has opened we must take this journey together as did our people, when ‘they’ came into our country back in 1804/05.

Your quest is still before us as is our journey to return home, and it is with open hearts that we take this walk forward together and re-tell this epic journey in the truthfulness of both our histories.  I am proud to say there is now a light at the end of that long dark tunnel, a future and a place we can call home.  I am grateful for all the work you have done as I have been on this road and now it seems that I have company (you) to educate this great country of our rich heritage.

Perhaps this is a journey we can all complete as friends and as a people and as a country to learn about how my people opened this country to what it is today, the United States of America.  People of all races and nationalities can look at ‘Sacajawea’ and say we came and established ourselves such as she did, and are proud to be Americans.

Please let me know what it is you would want of me and how I may be able to help in this great cause.

Friends always,
Leo T. Ariwite, Agai’dika Shoshoni”

As a country, this is the least we can do for this woman who gave of herself in so many meaningful ways. We must come together, we must rise to a higher place and do the right thing for Indigenous People. This is the “greater reward” Captain Clark could not give.

You can join this quest of “two centuries.” You can be a part of history and changing our world. You can help to share the truth about this part of our journey and shine a light on the discrimination of the past toward Native Americans and toward women – discrimination that is still with us today. We must stand together!  Sacajawea, The Windcatcher is OUR story, an American story, it is only fitting that WE tell it together! And, it is a story for the world!

Thank you, Leo, for your Indigenous wisdom and dynamic support. Thank you for your calm determination. We formally welcome you to our team!

Award-winning Cinematographer, Robert Shacklady, Joins Sacajawea, The Windcatcher!

Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, an International feature film production about the life of Sacajawea, is proud to welcome award-winning cinematographer, Mr. Robert Shacklady, as Director of Photography.

Robert is an internationally renowned cinematographer with a long track record of awards for the projects he has worked on around the globe. He is a voting BAFTA member and a member of the GBCT (Guild of British Camera Technicians). His wealth of experience comes from years in the film industry. Over his career, he shot for iconic brands such as BMW, McLaren, Ford, Boohoo, Philips, LG and he has worked with A-list actors such as Tom Hardy, Keanu Reeves, Leonardo DiCaprio and Daniel Craig, at some of the most amazing locations around the world including South Korea, Thailand, South Africa, Morocco, Sweden and Mexico.

Robert shot many feature films in the past, and he is currently cinematographer for several upcoming productions. He also worked on blockbusters such as Casino Royale; The World is Not Enough; The Seeker: The Dark Is Rising; Entrapment; Star Wars: The Phantom Menace, and The Beach. He shot several TV series including, Shadows of Death; award-winning, Serial Killer: Angel of Decay and additional photography for the Period series Sanditon. Robert’s diverse work has also included documentaries such as The Queen and the Coup about Queen Elizabeth II. 

Robert has the unique ability to combine classical filmmaking with cutting edge technologies, technics, and innovations. This creative understanding allows him to achieve a sumptuous cinematic look and style for each film.

“Sacajawea’s story is an epic tale set against the backdrop of amazing natural beauty.  I am really looking forward to cinematically translating her emotional journey for audiences to embrace and enjoy.”

~ Robert Shacklady

The Sacajawea team is extremely fortunate to have attracted Robert Shacklady as cinematographer for the production. With its majestic, cinematic locations, its epic scope, and the deeply personal insight of Sacajawea, Robert will capture her relationship with not only nature and her surroundings but also with the Indigenous vision she sees through her own eyes. 

The entire production team is humbled and grateful to welcome Robert Shacklady to this important film that honors the contributions of all women in history, from around the world.  www.warriorwomanspirit.com

ONWARD!

For more about Robert and his dynamic career, please visit IMDB at:

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0787117/?ref_=ttfc_fc_cr14