Sacajawea's People


Sacajawea's People

The Lemhi Shoshones and the Salmon River Country

John W. W. Mann

258 pages
3 photographs, 7 maps, index


July 2011


$19.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

On October 20, 2001, a crowd gathered just east of Salmon, Idaho, to dedicate the site of the Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural, and Education Center, in preparation for the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial. In a bitter instance of irony, the American Indian peoples conducting the ceremony dedicating the land to the tribe, the city of Salmon, and the nation—the Lemhi Shoshones, Sacajawea’s own people—had been removed from their homeland nearly a hundred years earlier and had yet to regain official federal recognition as a tribe. John W. W. Mann’s book at long last tells the remarkable and inspiring story of the Lemhi Shoshones, from their distant beginning to their present struggles.

Mann offers an absorbing and richly detailed look at the life of Sacajawea’s people before their first contact with non-Natives, their encounter with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early nineteenth century, and their subsequent confinement to a reservation in northern Idaho near the town of Salmon. He follows the Lemhis from the liquidation of their reservation in 1907 to their forced union with the Shoshone-Bannock tribes of the Fort Hall Reservation to the south. He describes how for the past century, surrounded by more populous and powerful Native tribes, the Lemhis have fought to preserve their political, economic, and cultural integrity. His compelling and informative account should help to bring Sacajawea’s people out of the long shadow of history and restore them to their rightful place in the American story.

Author Bio

John W. W. Mann is a visiting assistant professor in the Department of History at the University of Wisconsin–Eau Claire.


"[A] fascinating study. . . . The author's thoroughly researched account is bolstered by the inclusion of American Indian perspectives, particularly contributions from Lemhi Shoshone activists."—Choice

“This remarkable book is, in effect, the biography of a people. . . . An amazing story about a group of people who managed to live in harmony with just about everything except human beings. . . . and especially Western governments.”—Statesman Journal

“Mann offers an absorbing an richly detailed look at the life of Sacajawea’s people before their first contact with non-natives, their encounter with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in the early 19th century and their subsequent confinement to a reservation near Salmon.”—Idaho Statesman

“Mann’s interesting study of Sacajawea’s Lemhi Shoshoni tribe (originating in the area of Salmon, Idaho) provides a wealth of information pertaining to the great Indian icon and her people. Based on historical research used to dedicated the original tribal site, the book offers historians an abundance of information—detailed well into this century—on Sacajawea’s people.”—Linda Wommack, True West Magazine

“[A] much needed account of the historical clash between a government based on European ideas and a small tribe clinging tenaciously to its culture, identity, and sense of place. Mann should be commended for relating a story that is just as hard fought as the journey aided by Sacajawea 200 years ago.”—Kathie Meyer, Washington State Magazine

"A compelling account of the Lemhis' struggle for autonomy. . . . This book may provide them with some important legal ammunition."—Mark van de Logt, Canadian Journal of History