July 18, 2009

Lewis and Clark monument sans Sacagawea

‘First Council’ statues dedicatedIn the spring of 1804, the Corp of Discovery, sponsored by President Thomas Jefferson, set sail to explore the lands of the Louisiana Purchase, and to meet the Indians. After much anticipation, as the expedition was setting up camp, they were approached by their first tribe and arranged to meet with their chiefs on Aug. 3, 1804.

First Council Casino dedicated the monument, “First Council” on July 10 that commemorates and interprets the first official meeting between Capts. Lewis and Clark and chiefs of the Otoe and Missouria Indian Nations.

In June 2002, the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Committee of Fort Calhoun, Neb., commissioned a sculptor, Oreland Joe, to create life-sized sculptures including Lewis and Clark, an Otoe chief and a Missouria chief, a French interpreter and Lewis’ dog.

These statues are within feet of where the original council occurred, a place Lewis and Clark named Council Bluffs in present-day Nebraska. At the request of the Otoe-Missouria tribe, Oreland Joe has created a replica of the monument to grace the entrance of First Council Casino located in Newkirk. The six figures are cast in bronze and are arranged in a setting much like you would have expected to see if you attended the historic meeting more than 200 years ago.
Comment:  Bold move to include two Indian chiefs but exclude Sacagawea. I approve. Sacagawea has gotten enough press compared to other worthy Native figures.

Also nice that the monument is in Nebraska rather than the Far West. The eastern portion of the Lewis and Clark expedition doesn't get enough publicity.

For more on the subject, see Statue of Crouching Sacagawea.

Below:  "Artist Oreland Joe stands with the sculptures he created in front of the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla." (Photo by Lester Harragarra)


dmarks said...

I don't often see buildings with logos that look like they came from a small-press comic book!

Rob said...

Yes, I thought about that logo too. It certainly seems more casual than the usual casino logo.

dmarks said...

Have a fund-raiser to add a Sacagawea statue added. Accept donations in Sacagawea dollars, of course.

By the way, I love seeing this type of thing in a casino lobby.