Online Junior Ranger

Logo of a ranger flat hat with the words "Junior Ranger. Explore. Learn. Protect."
Junior Ranger: Explore! Learn! Protect!


to the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site's Online Junior Ranger program!


There are 2 historical subjects in this program: Buffalo Bird Woman and Four Bears. Click on either of their links below to learn their story and history!

Only 1 section is required to get the digital badge. You can also go back and complete both to learn more about Knife River Indian Villages!

This online Junior Ranger program is different than the Junior Ranger booklet found in the visitor center.



Who lived here?

The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara lived in separate villages along the Missouri River. Remnants of three Hidatsa villages are preserved within the park.

Why a National Historic Site?

In 1974, Knife River Indian Villages was formally recognized as a National Historic Site. It has some of the best preserved earthlodge depressions and is on the Lewis and Clark Trail!

Lewis and Clark survived the winter here with help from the tribes from November 1804 to April 1805. Sacagawea (also spelt Sacajawea or Sakakawea) and her husband Charbonneau met Lewis and Clark here in Awatixa Village, a site located here in the park.

What did they live in?

Earthlodges were the homes to these tribes. The women built these structures made of earth, logs, and grass which protected them from the harsh elements on the North Dakota prairie. These homes sheltered 15 to 20 people per earthlodge!

How did they live?

Daily life for the tribes included hunting and gathering food. Bison was an important part of their diet, but they were also farmers that raised corn, beans, squash, sunflowers, and tobacco. The women cared for the crops while the men hunted, defended the village, and traded with other tribes.

Let's Get Started!

Choose from the time periods listed below! You will only have to complete one section to get the badge!

Pick which time period to learn about from the 2 below!

Buffalo Bird Woman wrapped in a blanket.
Buffalo Bird Woman wrapped in a blanket.

1. Travel to 1839-1932 with Buffalo Bird Woman!

Buffalo Bird Woman, also known as Waheenee or Maxidiwiac, grew up in Like-A-Fishhook-Village and lived from 1839 to 1932.

She will teach you about important aspects of her life including earthlodge construction and gardening food for her family.

Click on the link above to access this Online Junior Ranger Program!

A painting of Four Bears dressed in regalia.
Four Bears or Mato-Tope, second chief of the Mandan

2. Travel to 1784-1837 with Four Bears!

The Second Chief of the Mandan, Mato-Tope, or Four Bears, was born in 1784 at On-A-Slant-Village lived during the smallpox epidemic of 1837.

He will teach you about important aspects of his life including hunting, games, and weapondry!

Experience what Four Bears' life was like by learning about the Mandan lifestyle and culture!


Last updated: October 19, 2020

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Stanton, ND 58571


701 745-3300

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