Online Junior Ranger: 1839-1932 with Buffalo Bird Woman

Buffalo Bird Woman wrapped in a blanket.
Buffalo Bird Woman


How many activities do I need to do?

12 activities are available, but you won't need to do them all. Check your age group to see how many are required to get the digital badge, although you can always do more if you wish!


Ages 7 and under: Five activities
Ages 8 to 12: Eight activities
Ages 13 and up: Ten activities

Some activities will have special requirements depending on your age.

How do I complete it?
Right click and then click "Print" to print or "Save As" to save to your computer. You can complete the program on a physical copy or digitally. A downloadable PDF and JPG is available! Keep this page open to access helpful links!

Buffalo Bird Woman

Buffalo Bird Woman, also known as Waheenee or Maxìdiwiac, grew up in Like-A-Fishhook-Village and lived to be almost 100 years old! From 1839 to 1932, she lived in an earthlodge and cultivated the land with special gardening tools.

After a hard day's work, she would cook dinner, eat with the family, and then rest inside the earthlodge which she and the women of her family would have built.

Buffalo Bird Woman was interviewed every summer from 1906 to 1918 by Gilbert Wilson, and she is responsible for much of the information we have on Hidatsa life today. Experience a day in her life by learning
about Hidatsa gardens and the earthlodge!


The Gardens

Watch and Write

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
3 minutes, 11 seconds

The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes grew many crops with unique tools. Learn about them in this video!


Watch a video about gardening! After that, look to your age group for the next set of instructions:

Ages 7 and under: Tell a friend or family member something you learned.
Ages 8 to 12: Write or draw something you learned from the video in the space below.
Ages 13 and up: Write something you learned from the video in the space below.



the photographs in the image below! Draw a line from the Hidatsa gardening tools to their modern equivalent!

Eight images split into sections with four Hidatsa gardening tools on the left and four modern gardening tools on the right.
Online Junior Ranger Garden Tools Match Activity

NPS Staff

If you're stuck, look to our Gardens page or watch the gardening video found on the page above.



Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
1 minute, 4 seconds

The "Woman's Work Song" performed by Nellie Hall.


The song in the video above is called "Woman's Work Song." Check your age group for further instructions!

Ages 7 and under: Listen to the song and try to sing along! If you have a plant in your home, sing to it to help it grow!
Ages 8 to 12: Listen to the song and try to sing along OR, in the space below, write what words you think she is singing to the corn!
Ages 13 and up: What do you think the singer is saying? Take inspiration from "Woman's Work Song" to write lyrics to your own song! Write it in the space below:


Scavenger Hunt

Hunt through our website to answer these questions about gardening. Hint: The answers can be found on our Gardens page. Look to your age group for further instructions!

Ages 7 and under: Circle the correct answer! Answer 3 or more questions.
Ages 8 to 12: Circle the correct answer! Answer 7 or more questions.
Ages 13 and up: Circle the correct answer! Answer all the questions.

Circle the correct answer:

1. Who were the primary caretakers of the gardens?
(a.) The Women. (b.) The Men. (c.) The Neighbors.

2. Circle the tool the tribes DIDN'T use.
(a.) Deer Antler Rake. (b.) Beaver Tail Shovel. (c.) Bison Scapula Hoe.

3. What was used for poking holes in the earth to plant seeds and unearthing tough weeds?
(a.) Bison Bladder. (b.) Watcher's Stand. (c.) Digging Stick.

4. Which tool did the tribes use to water their gardens?
(a.) Sprinkler. (b.) Bison Bladder. (c.) Canal.

5. A family’s entire garden could span the size of a:
(a.) Table. (b.) Football Field. (c.) Highway.

6. Circle which crops make up the Three Sisters:
(a.) Corn. (b.) Melons. (c.) Squash. (d.) Beans. (e.) Blueberries.

7. What is the "Fourth Sister" of the Three Sisters crops?
(a.) Sunflowers. (b.) Wheat. (c.) Parsnips.

8. Who handled the tobacco?
(a.) The Women. (b.) The Men. (c.) The Neighbors.

9. The corn plants were believed to have souls. What would the women do to them to help the plants grow?
(a.) Sing. (b.) Pet. (c.) Bow.

10: There were many dangers to the gardens. What was NOT one?
(a.) Boys stealing the corn. (b.) Invading tribes. (c.) Animals eating food. (d.) Locust swarms.

11. What would the women build below a shaded tree to sit on while guarding the crops?
(a.) A scarecrow. (b.) A Watchers' Stage. (c.) An earthlodge.

12. What ways would you protect your crops? Circle all the ways:
(a.) A scarecrow. (b.) A Watchers' Stage. (c.) An earthlodge. (d.) An umbrella. (e.) A fence.

A coloring page of a native american woman working in her garden with a garden hoe near a river, and an empty willow basket.
A Hidatsa woman uses a garden hoe to prepare the earth for planting.

NPS Staff


a page about gardening! You can download the page here.

The Gardens:

The Hidatsa were farmers. They grew corn, squash, beans, and more! What other foods might you find in willow baskets like these?

Gardens were close to the river to make watering easier.



these words like you're untangling weeds! Use what you've learned from previous activities and videos to help you. Hints are available if you get stuck.

Ages 7 and under: Unscramble 3 or more words!
Ages 8 to 12: Unscramble 7 or more words!
Ages 13 and up: Unscramble all the words!

snedgrear __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: Those who plant.

snabe __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: Jack climbed the giant stalk of one of these.

ronc __ __ __ __.
Hint: This grows tall and tastes great when popped.

shauqs __ __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: A versatile fruit. Examples: Pumpkin, Zucchini

fessnowlur __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: This faces the sun on bright days and are shelled to eat the seeds.

wrocs __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: Black birds.

gingins __ __ __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: Making musical sounds. Also an activity might have done in this Junior Ranger program!

gigding kitcs __ __ __ __ __ __ __ . __ __ __ __ __.
Used for turning soil and removing weeds.

kear __ __ __ __.
Hint: Often used for gathering leaves in a pile.

dewes __ __ __ __ __.
Hint: Unwanted plants.

A scarecrow guards a garden in full bloom in front of an earthlodge.
A garden styled after the Hidatsa gardens at Knife River Indian Villages.

NPS Staff

Draw or Write

what your garden would look like in the space below!

Take inspiration from the videos, photographs, and information you've examined so far. How would you water the garden? What tools would you use? What would you plant?




Watch and Write


Watch our 5 minute earthlodge tour and/or the speedpaint about earthlodge construction, and then write something you learned in the space below!

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
4 minutes, 17 seconds

An earthlodge tour with Ranger Darian. Take a look inside and learn about the Hidatsa styled earthlodge of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation.

Visit our keyboard shortcuts docs for details
3 minutes, 23 seconds

Speedpainted drawings and photographs illustrate how tribes would have put their earthlodge homes together.



what items belong in the earthlodge. Look at the diagram below and notice the empty lines and selection of words! Some belong in the earthlodge and some do not.

Think like an archeologist: what items wouldn't belong in an earthlodge during the given time period? Look to your age group for further instructions!

Looking for a hint? Check out our earthlodge page!

Ages 7 and under: Circle the items that belong!
Ages 8 to 12: Cross out the items in the word bank that are not found inside an earthlodge, and then write at least four words in their correct places. Watch out for words that don't belong!
Ages 13 and up: Use the word bank below to label the sections of the earthlodge! But watch out for words that don't belong!

A diagram of an earthlodge's interior.

NPS Staff




Food Storage Platform


Recliner Chair



Corral (1-2 horses)





Cache Pit

A coloring page of an earthlodge and winter count with information about each.
Harnessing History Coloring Page

NPS Staff


a page about earthlodges! You can download the page here.

Harnessing History:

The Hidatsa previously lived in structures called Earthlodges or "Awadi" in the Hidatsa language.

Men spent time on top of these homes watching for nearby bison or incoming enemies.

The women could build an earthlodge in only 7 days!

Major events were recorded on bison hides called Winter Counts.

The Hidatsa would choose an important person to draw a picture representing what happened that year.

If the harvest was good, for example, corn might have been drawn.

What would you put on your Winter Count?

A mud miniature earthlodge and paper earthlodge side by side.
Examples how you could make your own earthlodge! The left was made with paper, tape, and crayons. The right was made with mud and sticks. Both use a cup inside as the base.

NPS Staff


Build an earthlodge of your own! It doesn't have to be exact; use your imagination!

You could use toothpicks to replicate the logs on a miniature level, build one out of pillows and blankets, mud and sticks, cups, paper and glue, pretzels and crumbled cookies, or anything that comes to mind!

Make sure to ask your caretakers what is okay to use around the house, and don't be afraid to ask for help. The tribes had a whole village to assist them after all!

Forgot what an earthlodge looks like? Our earthlodge page will help jog your memory!


Scavenger Hunt

Hunt through the website for information about earthlodges! If you're feeling stuck, investigate this page here for some help. Check your age group for further instructions!

Ages 7 and under: Answer 3 or more questions.
Ages 8 to 12: Answer 7 or more questions.
Ages 13 and up: Answer all the questions.

1. Who owned and maintained the lodge?

2. How many people lived in one lodge?

3. Who had the knowledge and supervised the earthlodge construction?

4. The finished earthlodge would be between _______to_______ feet in diameter, ______to______ feet high, and took approximately _____to______ days to complete from start to finish.

5. The women rebuilt the earthlodges approximately every ____ years.

6. Who usually sat on the atuka?

7. What kind of food would a cache pit have in it? __________, __________, __________, and __________.

8. Where were Parfleches kept?

9. The tribes living along the Missouri River considered the earthlodge a __________ structure.

10. Today, the earthlodge remains an important structure and symbol for the Three Affiliated Tribes which are the ______, ________, and ________.

11. Is there a reconstructed earthlodge at Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site?

12. Draw or write your favorite fact about the earthlodge in the space below:

An online Junior Ranger badge for Knife River Indian Villages with an earthlodge symbol in the center
Congratulations! You have earned this badge for completing our online Junior Ranger program!


You have completed the Online Junior Ranger Program for Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site!

Compare your work to our answer key and then download your badge!

If you would like a physical badge, contact the park at 701-745-3300 or by email.

Last updated: October 6, 2020

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Stanton, ND 58571


701 745-3300

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