Special Features & Articles

Nat geo sacajaweaNational Geographic - Searching for Sacagawea


Idaho StatesmanIdaho Statesman Special Feature - Sacajawea, Her Story by Her People


nytimesNew York Times - Sacajawea's People seek a homecoming


WSU-Professor Orlan SvingenProfessor Orlan Svingen - WSU - Assisiting Lemhi-Shoshone to regain federal recognition


Trail TribesTrail Tribes - Focus on Sacagawea's descendants, traditions, customs, photos, petroglyphs & more


USNS SacagaweaSacagawea descendants to help dedicate ship - Indianz.comNAVY USNS Sacagawea (T-AKE 2)

Yellowstone - Park News/Blog - Lemhi-Shoshone's Sacajawea

The Lemhi-Shoshone Proudly supports the - Western Shoshone Defense Project

Lemhi County Historical Society & Museum

NCRSM Call To Action! - Salmon Savages High School, Salmon, ID (Current mascot issue)



Research by Washington State University :: College of Liberal Arts :: Department of History

Orlan Svingen :: Professor of History Wilson-Short Hall 311


Ph.D., University of Toledo, 1982

Academic & Professional Interests

Svingen teaches public history and United States history, and he has a research and publication interest in American Indian history.


Svingen's publications include The Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation, 1877–1900 (University Press of Colorado, 1994); The History of the Idaho National Guard (Idaho Military Division, 1995); and Splendid Service: A History of the Montana National Guard, 1867–1991 (Washington State University Press, in press). He has published scholarly articles in Western Historical Quarterly, American Indian Culture and Research Journal, American Indian Quarterly, and Montana: The Magazine of Western History.

"Sacajawea's People: Who Are The Lemhi And Where Is Their Home?" By Professor Orlan J. Svingen

Svingen works for the Lemhi Shoshone people of Idaho in their ongoing effort to regain federal recognition. See the official Web site of the Fort Lemhi-Shoshone Indian Community at


Research may lead to formal tribal recognition

SvingenBy Ted McDonough

Research by a Washington State University professor suggests a group of Idaho Indians were improperly stripped of formal tribal recognition by the United States government. Associate history Professor Orlan Svingen hopes his work, coupled with the upcoming bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition, will help the Lemhi people become one of a handful of American Indian groups to have restored federal recognition as a distinct tribe. Representatives of the Lemhi Shoshone -- who claim Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery member Sacajawea as an ancestor -- were invited to the White House May 4 for a Sacajawea coin reception ceremony. Rod Ariwite, head of the Lemhi community, was scheduled to deliver to Hillary Clinton a letter formally requesting tribal recognition. In 1995, the Lemhi people formed the Fort Lemhi Indian Community to put together a petition for formal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs. With part of a $65,000 federal grant obtained for the effort, Svingen was hired to research Lemhi history. Svingen made the Lemhi recognition project, begun in 1995, the focus of his graduate public history seminar. Svingen is nearing completion of an 450-page legal and historical treatment of the Lemhi. A draft of the work, which Svingen anticipates publishing, has already been sent to the Lemhi.

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Sacajawea Shoshoni


"Sacajawea's People: Who Are The Lemhi And Where Is Their Home?" By Professor Orlan J. Svingen

"Sacajawea's People The Lemhi-Shoshones and the Salmon River Country" By John W. W. Mann

"The Lemhi People and Their Struggle to Retain a Homeland" By Shirley Stephens


Wayne Mumford photo