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Replica in front of Capitol
Replica in front of Capitol,
Photo by Sharon Silengo
State Archives# 2003-P-09-02-09

The fundraising campaign to send the full-scale replica of the statue of Sakakawea that stands on the state capitol grounds in Bismarck to Washington, D.C. reached its $200,000 goal in January 2002. The cost included refurbishing and interpreting the present statue, duplicating and placing the new statue in National Statuary Hall, and official presentation ceremonies to highlight the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The fundraising campaign was launched October 13, 2000, the 90th anniversary of dedication ceremonies for the original statue.

Just as they did in 1910 when they led a campaign to raise funds to erect the statue, the General Federation of Women's Clubs of North Dakota was again actively involved in a similar fundraising project. They served as the catalyst working with North Dakota school children K through 12 to help fund a replica of the statue. This replica stands in National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

A special exemption from the Architect of the Capitol paved the way for approval of placing the statue duplicate in National Statuary Hall. The statue is actually of two people – Sakakawea and her baby son, Jean Baptiste. Congressman Earl Pomeroy's office secured the exemption after it was discovered that each state is only allowed to have two people represented in the hall. The exemption means that North Dakota will be the only state with three people – former governor and U.S. Treasurer John Burke, who was presented in 1963, and Sakakawea and her baby. Jean Baptiste's name will not be mentioned on the plaque at the statue base.