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Who is George Drouillard? And Why Don't More Idaho Students Know Him?


  • George Drouillard by Michael Haynes

Every Idaho student surely knows the story of Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, Sacajawea and George Drouillard. What's that? The name of George Drouillard escapes your memory? That's part of an historical injustice, according to his ancestors.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune includes a fascinating story of Cory Drouillard the great-, great-, great-nephew of George Drouillard and his attempts to convince America that his not-so-famous relative was a critical part of the Corps of Discovery. What's more, Drouillard has begun a 10-city tour along the Lewis and Clark Trail (he's in Lewiston today) with a cardboard life-size cutout of Sacajawea and his ancestor, asking passersby which person was the official guide and interpreter for Lewis and Clark's journey (Drouillard claims it was his distant uncle, George).  

The Tribune reports Drouillard has so far received scant media attention.

"The press has basically said they're not going to cover it," said Chris Harris, a publicist hired by Drouillard to help his cause. "They never showed up. That's an insult. That's a pure insult."

George Drouillard hasn't been entirely forgotten—Mount Drouillard in Teton County, Montana was named in his honor, as well as a museum in Bellefontaine, Ohio. Still, his 21st century relative insists that his great-, great-, great-uncle was the true guide and interpreter of the Lewis and Clark expedition, and should be remembered as such.