Students at Wyoming University have had a chance to pursue some specialized courses of study. Some of those studies related to the history of the Native Americans. Native Americans represent an important minority within the State of Wyoming.
Many University history books include information on the explorations of Lewis and Clark. More recent texts also include information about Sacagawea, their Native American guide. However, little attention has been given to the Wyoming marriage that motivated Sacagawea to provide Lewis and Clark with such excellent guidance.
Information now coming to light has revealed that Sacagawea had suffered abuse as a child. She had been sold into slavery by members of the Shoshone Tribe. She had thus been forced to serve the needs of enemy tribal leaders. Her situation did not improve greatly following one Wyoming marriage.
Toussaint Chorbonneau won Sacagawea in a gambling competition. A French-Canadian fur trader, Sacagawea's new owner had a rough and undisciplined approach to life. He wanted a wife, and so he forced Sacagawea to marry him. But after that wedding ceremony his actions did not mimic the accepted actions for the new groom in a Wyoming marriage.
Being forced to endure yet more abuse, Sacagawea longed for a way to escape from her Wyoming marriage. The arrival of Lewis and Clark provided her with a means of escape.
The longer that she was with Lewis and Clark, the more they came to respect her. Because such respect contrasted so sharply with what she had encountered following her Wyoming marriage, Sacagawea enjoyed serving as a guide to Lewis and Clark.
Students at Wyoming University are learning the above facts. Those facts shed some light on the reason that Sacagawea willingly led white men over Native American soil. Native American men had handed her over to a white man, and had forced her into an unhappy Wyoming marriage. Until she met Lewis and Clark, all of the men in her life had abused her.
No doubt many of the present-day University students might later participate in a wedding in Wyoming. Their knowledge of what happened to Sacagawea could color their views of that wedding. Perhaps they would choose to discourage a marriage between a white and Native American student. By the same token those University students might see reason to be optimistic about the prospects for such a marriage.
Only time will tell what sort of union might result from any future wedding in Wyoming. It might be a perfect union, leading to the creation many children with mixed blood. Perhaps one or more of such children could one day hold a leadership role in Wyoming.
By the same token, such a union could produce great friction between the bride and groom. Such a union could put one or both parties in an unpleasant situation. What course of action either of the parties then takes could eventually influence what becomes written in history books. It could affect what might be said about those who stood at the altar during that one wedding in Wyoming.