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The Legacy and Lessons of Lewis & Clark (an hour-long special)

From: Boise State Public Radio
Length: 58:52

Stories about the Corps of Discovery and the Endurance of Native Tribes who helped them.

Default-piece-image-0 The Legacy and Lessons of Lewis & Clark is a series of segments, produced by veteran producer, Jyl Hoyt, with support from SUNY Professor of History, Ron Bernthal. The first segment is entitled, “The River Brought Them.” In it, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase, find the headwaters of the Missouri River and hopefully a waterway to the Pacific. In many ways, the expedition marked the beginning of the America we know today. But if Native tribes hadn't helped them, Lewis and Clark never would have made it. ”Lewis & Clark in Indian Country” examines the role that the Native Peoples played. The late historian Stephen E. Ambrose chastised Lewis and Clark for not giving credit to the many tribes who helped them on their journey. Today, many Indians still resent the explorers and the exploitation that followed them. Others are more forgiving of the memory of the men whose expedition marked the beginning of the end of thousands of years of native culture in the American West. In "Beyond the Beginning of the End,” Hoyt looks at the "Opening of the West" begun by the Lewis and Clark expedition. The result was the near-destruction of the hundreds of native cultures that stood in the way of American expansion. Today, many natives are using the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an opportunity to commemorate what was lost and celebrate what has survived. Concluding the hour, "Reclaiming Sacajawea" examines the memory of one of the most famous Native American women. For the past two centuries many Indians called Sacajawea a traitor, blaming her both for bringing Lewis and Clark to their ancient lands and the exploitation that followed. The new Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Educational Center in Idaho works to redefine the young Lemhi Shoshone mom and heal past wounds for both Indians and whites.

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The Legacy and Lessons of Lewis & Clark is a series of segments, produced by veteran producer, Jyl Hoyt, with support from SUNY Professor of History, Ron Bernthal. The first segment is entitled, “The River Brought Them.” In it, President Thomas Jefferson sent Meriwether Lewis and William Clark to explore the new lands of the Louisiana Purchase, find the headwaters of the Missouri River and hopefully a waterway to the Pacific. In many ways, the expedition marked the beginning of the America we know today. But if Native tribes hadn't helped them, Lewis and Clark never would have made it. ”Lewis & Clark in Indian Country” examines the role that the Native Peoples played. The late historian Stephen E. Ambrose chastised Lewis and Clark for not giving credit to the many tribes who helped them on their journey. Today, many Indians still resent the explorers and the exploitation that followed them. Others are more forgiving of the memory of the men whose expedition marked the beginning of the end of thousands of years of native culture in the American West. In "Beyond the Beginning of the End,” Hoyt looks at the "Opening of the West" begun by the Lewis and Clark expedition. The result was the near-destruction of the hundreds of native cultures that stood in the way of American expansion. Today, many natives are using the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Expedition as an opportunity to commemorate what was lost and celebrate what has survived. Concluding the hour, "Reclaiming Sacajawea" examines the memory of one of the most famous Native American women. For the past two centuries many Indians called Sacajawea a traitor, blaming her both for bringing Lewis and Clark to their ancient lands and the exploitation that followed. The new Sacajawea Interpretive, Cultural and Educational Center in Idaho works to redefine the young Lemhi Shoshone mom and heal past wounds for both Indians and whites.

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Review of The Legacy and Lessons of Lewis & Clark (an hour-long special)

If I were a PD in the West, and especially along the route of the Lewis & Clark Expedition, I would find a way to offer this program to my listeners. The program can be aired as an hour show or as five segments that will fit into ATC's Clock.

I produced a two hour documentary on William Clark's slave/body servant York, who played an important role on the L&C Expedition. I've spent much time reading and thinking about L&C.

Three reasons to invest the time to air this program:

One, while deftly handling the essential facts of the Expedition, this program offers much new information and, more importantly, adds a voice and perspective on L&C I hadn't heard before. I was surprised by what I learned. I have a deeper understanding of what the L&C Expedition meant and still means. Just one example, hearing the different opinions RE Sacajawea's role on the Expedition made me aware that there was a whole other way of seeing L&C that I had never considered.

Two, the people interviewed are excellent. The historians (including Stephen Ambrose and Dayton Duncan), historical reenactors and Native American descendents of the peoples who first met L&C are by turns authoritative, thought provoking and moving. The documentary also does an excellent job of balancing the genuine anger & resentment of some voices within a larger perspective that deepened my sense of the impact of L&C.

Three, the show sounds great. Effective use of music. The varied voices keep the ear fresh.

Well crafted, thought provoking, a program that can well serve and impact listeners living within the legacy of L&C.

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Review of The Legacy and Lessons of Lewis & Clark (an hour-long special)

Veteran Producer Jill Hoyt has created a memorable and thorough examination of the legacies of Lewis and Clark. In four different sections of this well-produced one-hour documentary, we hear about the effects the expedition had on Western expansion and the resulting conquest and exploitation of Native Americans. None of this is preachy or accusatory. In fact, there is a gentle strength to this production that brings together poignant and intriguing stories from scholars and historians. Especially poignant is the last section that asks the question, "What would Lewis and Clark have thought about the resulting actions of their famed expedition?" The answers are revealing and thought-provoking. This documentary is a welcome counterpoint to many Lewis and Clark celebration pieces and one that is highly recommended by this reviewer. Jill Hoyt is one of our best producers who has been doing national work out of Idaho for lo these many years. Her work in this documentary is exceptional.

Related Website

http://radio.boisestate.edu/information/Lewis%26Clark/