• Aerial photograph of Big Hidatsa National Historic Landmark, located within Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site.

    Knife River Indian Villages

    National Historic Site North Dakota

Curriculum Materials

Guide to the Earthlodge People

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  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Arts, Crafts, Clothing and Appearance: Flint, Pottery, Painting

    Arts, Crafts, Clothing and Appearance:  Flint, Pottery, Painting

    Hidatsas and Mandans made tools, housewares, clothing, toys, and musical instruments from things that were available nearby or sometimes farther off if the material was important in the production of the item. In this lesson, students will tell a story by designing a buffalo robe like people did during Knife River Village days and they will discuss and portray how people might describe the life-ways of today one hundred years from the present using their media of choice.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Transportation

    Transportation

    For the Hidatsa, transportation provided a means of moving from place to place as necessary, and a way to gather the resources needed for trade and community well-being.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Housing: Activities in an Hidatsa Home

    Housing:  Activities in an Hidatsa Home

    Students will know that different tribes had different types of homes and lifestyles. They will learn about life in an earth lodge from Wahanee and have an opportunity to visit an earth lodge at Knife River and to design and build a replica tipi.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Unit Two Subsistence: Men’s Contributions

    Unit Two Subsistence:  Men’s Contributions

    Students will learn how men contributed to the dietary needs of the people living at Knife River Indian Villages through hunting, trapping, fishing and foraging through reading and discussion, graphic organization utilizing the KWL (Know/Want to Know/Learned model and through dramatization in song or skit writing.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Three Affiliated Tribes History: Post 1845 (Education and Spirituality)

    Three Affiliated Tribes History:  Post 1845 (Education and Spirituality)

    This lesson focusses on the resilience of the Hidatsa, Mandan and Arikara and the progress they are making toward reestablishing their cultural identity through education and traditional spiritual beliefs.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Arts Crafts Clothing and Appearance Parfleche, Quillwork, Basketry

    Arts Crafts Clothing and Appearance Parfleche, Quillwork, Basketry

    Many arts and crafts of the Hidatsa served a utilitarian purpose such as parfleches, which were multipurpose cases made of rawhide, and burdon baskets that could carry large amounts of much needed items like vegetables. In this lesson, students will explore how burdon baskets and parfleches were made then construct, make and decorate a replica parfleche.

  • Jefferson National Expansion Memorial

    Plains Indians pre-visit

    Students will roleplay a discussion about how to use natural resources from different perspectives.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Subsistence: Women’s Influence

    Subsistence:  Women’s Influence

    Students will learn how women shaped the lives and livelihoods of the tribes living at Knife River Indian Villages through agricultural practices and trade by reading and discussion, graphic organization utilizing the KWL (Know/Want to Know/Learned) model and through experiential learning.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Three Affiliated Tribes (TAT) History: Post 1845 Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) and the Garrison Dam

    Three Affiliated Tribes (TAT) History:  Post 1845 Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) and the Garrison Dam

    Students will learn how the Treaty at Fort Laramie established a territory for the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) and how that land base was reduced through the Allotment Act of 1887. They will also gain understanding about how the Garrison Dam impacted the lives of the Three Affiliated Tribes (TAT) and forced them to relocate to what is now the Fort Berthold Reservation.

  • Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site

    Economy and Trade: Pre 1845

    Economy and Trade: Pre 1845

    In Economy and Trade: Pre 1845, students will learn about trade relations between tribes prior to European contact and how their experience prepared them for success in dealing with explorers and traders after European contact by re-enacting trading as it was practiced at Knife River Villages.

Did You Know?

Visitor Center

The visitor center at Knife River Indian Villages is designed to look like an earthlodge? It has four tall center posts and a space for where the fire pit would be!