"Sacagawea" portrayed by Selene Phillips
Sacagawea (c.1788 - 1812) was the only woman in the famous expedition led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in 1804-1806. Daughter of a Shoshone chief, she was captured around the age of 12 by the Hidatsa and later was obtained by French-Canadian trapper Toussaint Charbonneau. When Lewis and Clark arrived in the area with their expedition, they hired Charbonneau and Sacagawea to accompany them. Carrying her infant son, Sacagawea traveled thousands of miles from the Mandan/Hidatsa village in what is now North Dakota to the Pacific Ocean and back. Her primary function was to serve as a translator for the expedition.
(Image by Tom Chalkley)
Selene Phillips is a professor in the Communication Department at the University of Louisville. She is a member of the Lac du Flambeau Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe Nation. She has portrayed Sacagawea at Chautauquas, on public television and in other settings. She holds a Ph.D. from Purdue University in American Studies, with emphasis in Native American Studies, communication law and journalism. Dr. Phillips has served on the Indiana Governor's Native American Council and also serves as president of the American Native Press Archives Advisory Board. She has also worked in television and radio news and as a communications specialist and business writer.