Lesson Plan

North American Indian Migration                                      into North Dakota

The Assiniboine migrated into North America from Canada and the Great Lakes region following herds of bison.

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Grade Level:
Fourth Grade-Eighth Grade
American Indian History and Culture
60 minutes
Group Size:
Up to 24
National/State Standards:
North Dakota Fourth Grade: 4.1.1, 4.2.6, 4.2.7, 4.2.9, 4.2.10, 4.3.2, 4.5.1, 4.5.3, 4.5.4, 4.5.6, 4.6.1, 4.6.2, North Dakota Eighth Grade: 8.1.1, 8.1.2, 8.5.1, 8.5.3


This lesson puts the Assiniboine in a geographical context for further lessons about Assiniboine culture and the fur trade.


Compare and Contrast the Great Plains and the Central Lowlands.
Identify different tribes territories on maps. 
Explain the ways the climate regions influenced Upper Missouri Plains Indian culture in North Dakota.   


Park Connections

Fort Union epitomizes the mutually advantageous interaction of American Indian and European American cultures associated with the fur-trading empire on the Upper Missouri region of the American frontier. Daily life at Fort Union Trading Post reflected the social and economic relationship between and within American Indian and European American cultures associated with the 19th century fur-trading empire. The northern Plains Indian tribes were affected materially, socially, economically, domestically, religiously, and ecologically as a result of the fur trade.

Additional Resources

Dakota, S. H. (n.d.). Mandan, Hidatsa, and Sahnish. Retrieved 9 3, 2013, from North Dakota Studies: http://ndstudies.gov/threeaffiliated_historical_overview
Denig, E. T. (1961). Five Indian Tribes of the Upper Missouri. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
Holmes, K. (2008). Montana: Stories of the Land. Helena: Montana Historical Society Press.
Kennedy, M. S. (1961). The Assiniboines. Norman: Univeristy of Oklahoma Press.
Robinson, E. B. (1995). History of North Dakota. Fargo: North Dakota State University.

Last updated: April 10, 2015