The tribes are among three major donors who have contributed $150,000 toward the Sakakawea Statue campaign. The tribes, former governor Arthur Link and wife Grace, and Joe and Florence Hauer, owners of United Printing and Mailing in Bismarck each donated $50,000, representing three-fourths of the $200,000 project cost.
'It is appropriate and fitting that our state and this country finally recognizes the contributions Sakakawea made to our nation. I look forward to the dedication of her likeness in National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C.,' said Chairman Tex Hall. The $200,000 includes refurbishing and interpreting the statue on the North Dakota capitol grounds. It commemorates Sakakawea for her crucial role in the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1903-06. Sculpted by Chicago artist Leonard Crunelle, it depicts Sakakawea with her baby son, Jean Baptiste, strapped to her back, looking westward toward the country she helped to open. Foundry workers will make a mold of the original statue and use it to create a second bronze statue.
Expedition journals indicate Sakakawea was captured in 1800, when she was about 12. She became a valuable member of the corps, providing translation and contacts with the Shoshone living west of the Mandan and Hidatsa villages.