From Sacajawea, The Windcatcher – It is June, 1805, along the Missouri River. Sacajawea’s fever is broken after being deathly sick. She sits on a rock in the shallows of the river, cleansing herself, braiding her hair and preparing her face in the tradition of her people.
At the edge of the trees, Captain Clark waits, guarding with his gun ready. He looks the other way from Sacajawea, his eyes scanning into the forest.
Suddenly, he is startled when the girl appears from nowhere, next to him. “You are better!” he says with great relief. He looks closely at the vermilion lines drawn across her forehead and in the part of her hair. “What do these markings mean?”
Sacajawea smiles, “It is from my people, to show how we walk. It means, the Spirit is with us. It says we come in peace.”
Captain Clark’s face softens when he realizes Sacajawea has been wearing the vermilion the entire journey. And, because of her, all the tribes they’ve met along the way knew they were peaceful…
Sacajawea was true to herself and her traditions. She walked with love and an innate knowing that “in peace” we find Creator – though she was not afraid to do what’s right, even if it caused discontent. For Sacajawea was very aware of light and dark, as one cannot exist without the other. She also knew that peace would not be a relevant truth without chaos.
The question is, which one leads us and what will we leave behind for others? Sacajawea knew the explorers would be killed if she did not go before them, proclaiming the “peaceful” traditions of her people.
Peace, as Love, isa noun (a thing) anda verb (an action),and therefore,they hold Infiniteand Universalpower in allWorlds...
The producers of Sacajawea, TheWindcatcher, an International feature film project about the life of Sacajawea, are proud to welcome Jhane Myers, award-winning producer and actor for the character of “Otter Woman.”
Jhane (Comanche/ Blackfeet) has garnered awards as a filmmaker, producer, actor, Native adviser and an artist of traditional jewelry and regalia. She was selected as one of the featured fine artists for the first ever Comanche Fine Artist calendar for 2016. She is a noted fourth generation dressmaker, third generation doll maker, beadworker and traditional regalia designer. She has worked in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, D.C and NYC, the Wheelwright Museum, the Indian Craft Shop D.C., the Autry Museum, Comanche Visitors Center and the Blackfeet Heritage Center. She was also a Community Curator to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian’s popular exhibition and book “Identity by Design.”
Otter Woman was a significant character in Sacajawea’s story. She was the older Shoshoni wife of Toussaint Charbonneau, the fur trapper who traded a gun for Sacajawea. She did not trust the white men, and she did not want the young mother to go with them.
“The relationship between Otter Woman and Sacajawea evolved through our story to be more like a mother and daughter. Jhane Myers is perfect for this role. As an Indigenous woman, a mother, who has worked in film for many years through acting and as a liaison for the tribes, she is invaluable to the production and we are so grateful to have her as Otter Woman.”
~ Jane L. Fitzpatrick
Jhane made history as the founding executive director of the American Indian National Center for Television and Film. The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) formed the Center in Los Angeles, CA, with network partners Disney/ABC, CBS, NBC/Universal and FOX to increase the representation and visibility of American Indian talent in all aspects of the entertainment industry. She made her acting debut in an indie film called Bare (2015). Continuing in film she enjoyed being an associate producer on the PBS documentary La Donna Harris: Indian 101 (2014).
Hailing from the Penetuckah (sugar eater) and Yaparucah (root eater) bands of the Comanche Nation and Blackfeet American Indians, Jhane is dedicated to authentic Indigenous film producing, Native languages, Native cultural advising, acting and fine art. Jhane is a Sundance/ Time Warner Storyteller Fellow (2018) and Producer Fellow for (2017). She is known for the Comanche linguistics and culture in Monsters of God (2017), and Comanche linguistics in Magnificent 7 (2016). Multitalented and articulate, Jhane brought her cultural sense of self and Native community to public relations engagements for the film, Wind River (2017) and for her work as supervising producer of N. Scott Momaday: Words from a Bear (2019) for the American Masters Series, and as associate producer for the feature documentary, Defending the Fire (2017). Jhane can also be seen on camera in the TV series Native America,New World Rising (2018) and in the Sundance short film Over the Bridge (2016). She has also served as publisher and editor-in-chief of Oklahoma Casinos & Entertainment magazine, a motion picture publicist, directed her own public relations agency, Jhane Myers & Associates, and she has worked as a publicist to Mel Gibson on Apocalypto, which included organizing the premier at The Riverwind Casino in Oklahoma.
The entire production team for the Sacajawea film welcomes Jhane Myers to the project. They believe she will bring vital authenticity to the character of Otter Woman and as a producer on the project, she will also speak to accuracy and the critical Native American elements Sacajawea’s story deserves.
Captain William Clark wrote this to Sacajawea’s husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, in 1806:
“[Y]our woman who accompanied you that long dangerousand fatigueing rout to the Pacific Ocian and back diserveda greater reward for her attention and services onthat 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.
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 in Sun Valley, Idaho in 2019). 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!
Boinair (Sacajawea) faced many hardships in her life. Though we have spoken of them before in this blog, we want to look at her life in a different way. It is 1800, in the early morning hours of a dark, sad day. Boinair has been stolen away from those she loves.
When she awakens, she finds her wrists and ankles are bound, and she is tied to a tree. Young women and children sob and cry around her, they are hungry and hurting both inside and out. Through yesterday’s chaos, Boinair remembers catching sight of her mother and grandmother, and wonders if she will ever see them again… Her world has turned dark, and she can only think of one thing – how to escape!
Thoughts for today…
“If Sacajawea’s life had been easy, we may never have seen her spirit revealed to us in our time. She may never have become the icon she is today, to the children’s children of the world.”
If she had grown up on the prairie and the mountains, married her betrothed, had children and lived happily-ever-after, we most likely would never have heard her name – and her existence would have been lost in time.
Ironically, it is the darkness around her that made us aware of her light. She was stolen away – and in that terrible moment, our story began…
Sacajawea’s trials and tribulations opened doors that she never imaged existed. She knew her Spirit was unstoppable because she was able to recognize a powerful path through the darkness by Being the light, and that is a divine trait.
She was strong to stand her ground, and even though she was a Native American woman in 1805, with all the injustice and prejudice around her, she refused to succumb to it. Sacajawea was “awake and aware.” Her ego did not guide her, for she knew she had a higher calling, from a higher Being, and there was a higher ground to walk.
It is a choice we make when we see something greater in ourselves and in humanity. Though, like Sacajawea’s life, our world seems chaotic at the moment. But, nothing is more powerful than our own choice to change it.
We are so happy and grateful to be sharing this wonderful news about Sacajawea, The Windcatcher. We welcome to our team, Randy Hillman, Vice President of Financial Development at Dragonslayer Entertainment LLC. He is also a consultant and independent contractor for films unrelated to Dragonslayer.
Randy has some amazing connections and he’s made dynamic steps for the Sacajawea production! In fact, we believe great news is just around the corner with exciting times ahead.
I want to thank Randy for his truly sincere character and knowledge. He has been wonderful to work with and we’ve enjoyed hearing stories from his long career in film. He’s walking a spiritual journey and that touches me, personally, and our entire team.
Watch for things to be happening! Watch for doors to be opening! Watch for the miracles that are already here! Thank you, Randy Hillman, you are a miracle!
Sacajawea, The Windcatcher congratulates our executive producer, John Scott, John Scott Productions, for his recent win of the 2019 Gene Autry Western Heritage Award, in Las Vegas, NV!
John is a seasoned cowboy and true Sage in the Canadian film industry. He brings over 35 years of moviemaking experience to the Sacajawea film. He is a member of the Sacajawea The Movie Production Services corporation, contracted to produce this powerful and unforgettable movie.
Scene Description: Boinair’s (Sacajawea) life as a child is filled with love, family and friends… Her people are nomadic, following the buffalo in season. Sometimes food is abundant, and other times scarce – but always they believe the Great Spirit cares for them and brings them everything they need. After four years of captivity, Sacajawea returns to her people with the Corps of Discovery. She longs for the man she loves and believes he is waiting for her return. It is hard to see so many loved ones gone – stolen or worse. Her tribe is hungry, waiting for the buffalo hunt, and mourning their many lost. Her family embraces her, but something in her young life is about to change — something she doesn’t expect that nearly crushes her spirit. A broken heart is the worse pain of all.
It is for “Women” that Sacajawea brings her story to us in our time. It is humbling to share how her spirit has been essential to my own life and growth. She has touched me in so many ways…
When I was a little girl, I was loved and cared for by family and friends. I had a nurturing mother and father who did not fight or abuse me – they were the embodiment of loving kindness and gentle spirits.
When I was 20 years old, I was married in a flowing, white gown, to a man I loved with all my young heart. I thought my life would continue in peace and harmony. We would have children and raise them to be strong and good in every way, with a mommy and daddy to love them.
Let me just say….
The spirit realm and Creator work in mysterious ways. From our deepest self, we call what we need to learn for the path we have been given. Sometimes it takes a lifetime of pain before we realize that — sometimes we never see. I did not know at the time of my marriage, that my path would lead me to write the story of Sacajawea, and I did not know her spirit was with me already. At the time, my life was easy and filled with light. Deep darkness had not shown its face, and because of that, I was not yet whole…
After nearly four years of marriage we had a beautiful daughter — and a couple years later, a son. Life seemed to be unfolding before me just as I had expected…
The Great Mystery…
I tell this story to show you how Spirit works in our lives. No matter how dark it gets, Creator wants to give us the desires of our hearts. In order for us to truly see, we must understand, circumspectly, the light and the dark, for both are the desires we seek to learn from. Only in that way, can we transparently embrace what Creator has for us…
So, I want to tell you about the moment I realized there was deep darkness in the world. If someone had asked me if the world was dark, I would have said, “Yes, of course,” not wanting to appear naïve, “There is sadness everywhere.” But, I would not have truly known, because up to this point at 27 years old, I was not able to know.
It was the beginning of summer… My baby was 6 months old and my daughter was 2 ½. We were gearing up for a wonderful season of walks with the stroller and trips to my parent’s lake cabin. It seems surreal, looking back — but one day in time, through a brave, caring soul, I learned my husband was unfaithful.
Sitting on the porch that night, knowing he was with someone else, was the most horrific and devastating night of my life. I cried, I screamed, I prayed, I was confused, I didn’t understand… My heart was turning inside-out and ripping apart. I was so alone. And, yet, not alone — I literally felt something pressing down on my right shoulder, and I thought it must be the hand of God.
The Universe at work…
It would be 25 years before I would write Sacajawea’s story, and before I would become aware of her presence in my life. But, once I woke up to that awareness, everything made sense — I realized and recognized what I felt that night pressing down on me…
It was her sweet spirit. I have felt it many times since. She cried with me then, in my darkest hour.
That night, I learned something. That night, I became whole. That night, I had to walk on, for even though I didn’t know it, the true love of my life was to come. It was many years before I could completely break down the barriers and hurts from my broken heart, but forgiveness helped me heal with a clearer vision of pure love.
As with Sacajawea, she believed her betrothed would love her forever – he’d accept her back if she could get home. But, that was not her path…
I never would have known what Sacajawea felt if I had not experienced what I did in my life. I was Called to write her story, and I was given the tools I needed along the way. We have to trust Creator. The step we take after heartache is our choice. As women, no matter what happens on our journey, we are created to be nurturers, caretakers and givers-of-life. How will we use what we are shown, how will we grow from it, how will we share ourselves with others to fulfill our rightful place?
Even in the midst of Sacajawea’s greatest heartache, she made a choice. She walked on. She rose to a new purpose. She was Called, and answered the Call, to bring her story to us in our time… Sacajawea shows us transparent Love, Light and Peace, and that is what will empower and change the world. ~ Jane L. Fitzpatrick
“The honor of the people lies in the moccasin tracks of the women.”
There are two very prominent Native American women in our country’s history. Pocahontas has been in the spotlight many times. We have seen her depicted in biographies, movies, children’s animated films — her life has been shared over and over again. We have formed an understanding of who she was, what she did and how she lived.
But, the other prominent Native American woman, Sacajawea, is a mystery. There are a few lines about her in history books as she relates to the Corps of Discovery. We know her name, yet it is controversial. We know how long she lived, yet it is controversial. We know she was Shoshone, yet it is controversial… It is hard to know what to share because so many opinions and traditions dance around her existence.
But, what we do know is that from a young age this girl suffered greatly when she was ripped from her family and tossed into a different culture of people and a world with white men. Who would have ever thought this stolen child would be given an opportunity to contribute to the birth of a Nation?
Sacajawea deserves to be recognized and honored. If we look deeply, there are many things that are not controversial at all. She became a strong woman and survived horrendous experiences. She was a devoted mother who cared for her young son and later her daughter. She respected the earth and its riches and knew what would sustain her. She had a betrothed but was forced to have a child with an abusive Frenchman. Sacajawea was highly respected by the soldiers and they even wrote about her in the Lewis & Clark journals. She was a warrior for peace.
With the documented history and thrilling adventure of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, we have created an intriguing backdrop for the character of Sacajawea based on what we know, based on the traditions of her people and other tribes, and based on the time period. But, the greatest element of this story, that is evident from both her journey and ours, is Sacajawea’s own determined and transparent Spirit — and her willingness to share it with us.
This is the UNTOLD story of Sacajawea. Welcome to the journey! Please FOLLOW this blog for updates on the project.
Can you imagine what she thought as her moccasins took each harrowing step? Rain pounded her head with no cover for 26 days. Her baby was hungry and she fed him. The men were starving and she showed them where to find wild vegetables. She wore vermillion on her face because it said to other tribes, “We come in peace.” This saved all their lives.
Sacajawea was kidnapped, abused, enslaved, and traded as property. Yet, when she finally made it to the Great Water, she found the unselfish strength to pray that we would remember something — “The Earth is our Home and we are One.”
This is the purpose of Sacajawea and why she’s brought her message forward to a world in need of remembering. She made a powerful effort to get our attention, and we are so very privileged to give her a voice.
Please join us in this enormous and inspiring effort by contacting us through the BLOG contact page. Walk with us on this journey of discovery.