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Explore local culture

by North Dakota Tourism

November is Native American Heritage Month and an opportunity to celebrate our tribal nations that are an essential part of North Dakota’s history. All are welcome to explore the tribal lands and experience Native American culture by learning about each tribe’s history, language and traditions, while visiting reconstructed earthlodge villages and historic sites.

Here are a few places to experience North Dakota’s Native American culture:

▶    Travel along the Standing Rock National Native American Scenic Byway through Fort Yates to stop at the Standing Rock monument and Sitting Bull burial site; the original gravesite of the Hunkpapa Lakota leader. Sitting Bull played a prominent role in the shaping of the American West, notably defeating Custer in 1876.

▶    In the Bismarck-Mandan area, plan to visit Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, which is home to many historic attractions, including On-A-Slant Indian Village, a 400-year-old Mandan village that thrived for more than 200 years. Within the North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum, the Innovation Gallery’s Early Peoples exhibit uses more than 1,000 artifacts to tell the story of early life on the Northern Plains. Tour the ruins of a large Mandan Indian earthlodge village at the Double Ditch Indian Village State Historic Site, believed to have once been inhabited for nearly 300 years until 1781.

▶    Ruins of the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site were last occupied in 1845 by the Hidatsa and Mandan and is the site where Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea in 1804. The site now has a modern museum, visitor center, Hidatsa earthlodge and the remains of three Hidatsa villages with 210 depressions.

▶    Discover the culture, oral tradition and history of the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara (MHA) Nation in New Town. At the Crow Flies High Observation Point, take in the breathtaking views of Lake Sakakawea, the bluffs in the Badlands and the foundations of the underwater town of Sanish. Cross Four Bears Bridge and explore the MHA Nation Interpretive Center to take in museum-quality displays, living history programs, culture educational classes and more.

▶    Next to Sky Dancer Casino in the Dunseith area, Turtle Mountain Heritage Center showcases the heritage and history of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.

▶    Constructed as a military post, Fort Totten State Historical Site stands much as it once did, housing an interpretive center, museum and historic inn.

Learn more about North Dakota’s tribal tourism experiences at