Otter Woman was born a Lemhi Shoshone near the Three Forks region (today near Salmon, Idaho). In c. 1800 at the age of perhaps fifteen she was kidnapped by a group of Hidatsa, or Minnetaree, Indians. Several Shoshones were killed in the action and several girls, including Sacajawea, and women beside Otter Woman were kidnapped. She was transported as a captive to the region of the Mandan Indian villages. After about one year of captivity doing slave labor, Otter Woman was won in a gambling match by Toussaint Charbonneau, a Quebec-born trapper living in the village. At the same time Charbonneau won Sacajawea, Otter Woman's closest Shoshone friend.