Photo: Jane returned to Fort Rock in 2015 with the completed Sacajawea script, to close the circle and fulfill her promise.
January 28, 2016 — Screenwriter, Jane L. Fitzpatrick, always believed in her heart she should write this story. Her life has been filled with “connections” leading her closer to its creation. Growing up in the Pacific Northwest gave her a natural backdrop and understanding of the environment, the rapid rivers, and ominous mountains.
Jane was born along the Lewis and Clark trail in Richland, Washington. Her parents named her Janie, not knowing it was the very name Clark gave to Sacajawea because he couldn’t pronounce her name. As a child, Jane’s family had close friends related to a member of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Sergeant William Bratton.
During Jane’s middle school and teenage years, she lived in Portland, Oregon, and spent many weekends at the beach where the Corps built their salt works. Jane’s early high school friends were Cliff Lewis, John Clark and Jayne Scott (another Jane) and she had several co-workers along the way who were related to Sacajawea’s husband, Charbonneau. There were many other connections, but these stood out in her life.
As an adult, in 1987, Jane and her family relocated back to the Pacific Northwest and their car broke down in Bozeman, MT. Being adventurers themselves, the family chose to stay in the beautiful Montana town for three years. Little did Jane know she was about to be introduced to Sacajawea. Drawn to the very place the 12-year-old girl was taken from her people, Three Forks, MT at the headwaters of the Missouri River, Jane sat alone on Fort Rock watching the eagles soar above her. That day, May 20, 1989, she was touched by the spirit of the Windcatcher and knew she had to write the story.
After attempting to write it as a children’s book, Jane realized it wasn’t a children’s story. For years, the tale stirred in her heart until 2003, when her daughter, Jerah, a film student, encouraged her to write it as a screenplay. Jane had never written a screenplay, but after four years of writing, re-writing, researching and trying different beginnings and endings, developing characters and dialogue, the script came to life. Through Jane’s creative blend of history and heart and her tenacious passion, we can all know this very special icon of the west.
In Jane’s words, “Sacajawea, The Windcatcher, is not watered down, or sensationalized — it is not a fairytale. It tells the story of this woman with all its joy and pain. It is captivating and it is inspiring. Who was this brave woman who carried a child on her back across this treacherous land, and how does she stand the test of time to remain one of the most respected women in American history? It is finally time for Sacajawea to have a voice, yes, to share her story in an epic feature film.”
For more information about this project visit: http://www.sacajaweathemovie.com