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The following brief article was published in the Collections of the State Historical Society of North Dakota in 1906 (Vol. 1, pp. 69-72). The editor of the Collections was Professor Orin G. Libby, secretary for the State Historical Society. The author, Rev. C. L. Hall, was a missionary to the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Also referenced is Washington Matthews, M.D., a military surgeon stationed at Forts Union, Berthold, and Stevenson, Dakota Territory, from 1865-1872. In 1873 Matthews published the first grammar and dictionary of the Hidatsa language, which all subsequent linguists and historians have relied upon.

Editorial Note [1906]
The newly awakened interest in this state of the spelling of the Indian name of the Bird Woman has doubtless arisen from the recent effort of the Women’s Federation of Clubs of the state to have erected at Bismarck a bronze statue of Sakakawea. This laudable enterprise is in a fair way to succeed, and Leonard Crunelle of Chicago is hard at work on his model.

It is a singular thing that the spelling of this Indian name has been so long allowed to go as “Sacajawea,” which is Shoshone for Boat Launcher and has, therefore, nothing to do with the name Sakakawea, which is Bird Woman. Naturally it is a matter of state pride to every one in North Dakota that the form of this name should be as nearly as possible like the original. Fortunately the Society has been able to avail itself of the expert knowledge of Rev. Hall, who speaks the language of the tribe among whom Sakakawea lived and from whom she received her name. Mr. Hall… has had thirty years experience among the Grosventre [Hidatsa] Indians…His opinion, therefore, on such matters has far greater weight than that of any or all of the passing travelers who have left accounts of their experiences among the people of this tribe.