A STORY FROM THE AGES
Scene description from the screenplay, Sacajawea, The Windcatcher —It is late afternoon, on the banks of the Missouri River, Three Forks. Enemy warriors crouch behind a stand of cottonwood trees. They watch smoke rise from a bonfire above in the village, listening to the sounds of women and children filtering through the air. Boinair (Sacajawea) and her friend Naya Nuki, walk down the path to the water. They pass an elder man painting on the walls in a shallow cave. He turns from his painting to look at the girls, smiling the smile of a grandfather, when a shot cracks through the air. The old man pitches forward, blood pulsating from the side of his head.
Naya Nuki shrieks, not able to move, as Boinair takes her knife from its sheath. She pulls hard on her friend’s arm, “Naya Nuki! Hurry!” More shots. Terrified women and children pour from the village, stumbling toward the cottonwoods. A warrior leaps from his horse rushing toward Boinair, she breaks away down river, slipping on the wet stones. He lunges, as Boinair slices her knife through the air, bloodying his arm. Angered, the warrior comes at her, knocking the weapon from her hand. He yanks Boinair’s hair, dunking her in the water. The girl chokes and coughs. He yanks her hair again, then, punches hard between her eyes. Blood bursts from Boinair’s nose, her knees buckle, and she collapses in his arms…
“A nation is not conquered until the hearts of its women are on the ground. Then it’s finished; no matter how brave its warriors or how strong their weapons.” ― Cheyenne Proverb
Just as some Indigenous women today, Sacajawea was stolen away from those she loved. She was robbed of a beautiful life with her future husband, her mother, her grandmother, her siblings, her friends. But, in the twelve years she was with her people, she learned about nurturing, loving, caring, strength and wisdom. Her life’s circumstances could never take that away.
In the screenplay, we see how Sacajawea went on to experience slavery, abuse, sadness and heartache, but, her journey was empowered and along the way, she found her joy. Over the last 200 years, her spirit has led her to our time. For, even in this modern world, the atrocities against Native American women and girls continue everywhere and every day.
Sacajawea’s story is relevant, and it will shine a bright light into the darkness – a light that cannot be stopped. Let us listen, let us stay aware, let us act on what is right, for those who went before us are showing us the way.
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~ Descriptions and content from Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, are protected under a copyright from the U.S. Copyright Office and the Writer’s Guild of America/west.