Part 2: Early History of American Indians in North Dakota

Part 2: In a Nutshell

  • American Indians were the first people to live in North Dakota.
  • Archaeologists believe that Paleo-Indians arrived on this continent over 15,000 years ago.
  • Paleo-Indians came to North America from Asia over a land bridge that is now covered by water.
  • Descendants of the Paleo-Indians were called Archaic people.
  • Paleo-Indians and Archaic people mined Knife River flint in North Dakota.
  • An atlatl was a hunting weapon developed by the Archaic people.
  • The Woodland people came to North Dakota about 2,500 years ago.
  • The Woodland people were the first to make pottery in North Dakota.
  • The Woodland people were called “Mound-builders” because their cemeteries looked like mounds, or small hills.
  • The Plains Nomadic people probably came to North Dakota from forests in the east.
  • Copper, probably from Minnesota, was the first metal used in this area.
  • The Plains Village people were descendants of the Woodland people.
  • The Mandan were the first Plains Village group to become a modern Indian tribe.
  • The Mandan people settled along the Missouri River in North Dakota about 900 years ago.
  • The Hidatsa people settled near the Mandan about 500 years ago.
  • Telling stories to pass on information is called oral history.
  • Winter counts were calendars and records of history drawn on an animal hide.