February 11, 2012
William Clark and Meriweather Lewis are as iconic a part of US history as Christopher Columbus. Columbus may have discovered the New World, but Lewis & Clark uncovered it!
Descendants of Clark, of the Lewis and Clark expedition to explore the West will try to make amends Saturday for a 205-year-old theft committed by their ancestors.
After completing their journey west and spending a miserable winter at the mouth of the Columbia River in 1806, Lewis & Clark found themselves short a canoe for the journey home. So they stole one from the Chinooks who had kept them alive all winter.
Carlota Clark Holton of St. Louis, Missouri, seven generations removed from William Clark, will be among the descendants who will present the Chinook Indian Nation with a 36-foot, custom built replica of the stolen canoe during a ceremony.
Seriously, what do you think the consequences were to the Chinook for a stolen canoe? Ray Gardner, chairman of the Chinook Nation's tribal council talks about the canoe theft and its consequences to the Chinook.
The canoe will be cleansed, blessed and named, Gardner said. Then, it becomes a living member of the tribe.
Theft is a terrible thing in any times. Nobody knows the true effect of the stolen canoe on the Chinook tribe. It is nice to see, even symbolically, people making restitution to right a wrong. It is especially nice given that they were not asked or cajoled into the decision. Society would be a much nicer place if everyone respected other people’s property.