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Bison hide demonstration at The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center

Native culture in North Dakota

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postedJanuary 28, 2020

The North Dakota Native Tourism Alliance, a coming-together of seven tribal nations, has joined forces with NTA-member North Dakota Tourism Division to perpetuate and celebrate native culture.

“The Alliance provides education and discussion on preserving their history, music, language, and environment,” says the state DMO’s Deanne Cunningham. “The tribal nations are an important part of North Dakota’s history. We have approximately 30,000 Native Americans that call our state home.”

The collaboration has resulted in more group travel product, which includes an earthlodge experience where travelers can see tribal dances, hear authentic drum music, visit the tribe’s garden, and sample the cuisine.

“Near the earthlodge village, there is now a waterpark for student groups and a large cruising boat that can take up to 100 people out on Lake Sakakawea,” Cunningham says. “A visit to the overlook of Crows Flies High offers several interpretive panels and views of the lake and the Four Bears Bridge.”

Three other sites that illuminate the legacy and lives of the Plains Indians are:

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
This group of village ruins contains sites of trade, socialization, and battle more than 11,000 years ago among Northern Plains tribes (as well as where Lewis and Clark met Sakakawea) and is now home to a modern museum and visitor center.

The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and Fort Mandan
The center offers an immersive journey through the Corps of Discovery. A replica of Lewis and Clark’s famed winter home makes up Fort Mandan, which stands near the Mandan Villages, the site where the explorers traded goods for protection and knowledge during the early 19th-century expedition.

Fort Totten State Historical Site
The former military post, Indian healthcare facility, and reservation school is now home to an interpretive center, museum, and historical inn. And although the site’s Devils Lake harbors legends of drowned warriors and water monsters, it’s now a fantastic fishing destination.

For more information, contact Cunningham or go to

Top photo: Bison hide demonstration at The Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Photo by North Dakota Tourism Division


Support for Courier articles provided by:
Black Hills & Badlands Tourism Association
The Cody Cattle Company
Cody Country Visitors & Convention Council
North Dakota Tourism Division
Visit Cheyenne
Visit Fort Worth