State Museum – Early People’s Gallery

Enjoy a visit to North Dakota’s Heritage Center and State Museum and its Early Peoples Gallery with an indigenous guide. A variety of art, artifacts and history is displayed in the gallery according to a timeline and organized primarily by culture (Mandan, Lakota, Metis, etc.) Hear samples of languages spoken by (and maybe a few legends of) some of the First Peoples of North Dakota as you walk through this gallery. Encounter the tribes of North Dakota both as they were before contact with Europeans and also as the sovereign nations that they are today.

Guided Small Group Tours – By Appointment Only

Overview

This journey through time begins with the first hunters that migrated here following giant mammals over 13,000 years ago. See skeletons of the huge mastodon and bison along with examples of the First Peoples masterful stone technology. See examples of the progression from creative hunting practices and the use of spears to the invention of the bow and arrow and creation of clay pottery.
Envision North Dakota’s earliest cities and experience the way of life of the plains village farmers. View evidence of the rich & vibrant culture the thrived for centuries here. Learn how the introduction of guns & horses impacted the plains tribes.

Displays of dresses, pants, moccasins, shirts, saddlebags & more will allow you to view the various materials used and see the artistry behind the exquisite beadwork and quillwork.
Contact with European cultures had a profound impact on Native Indian cultures. See the changing technologies and learn how Native and non-natives perceived each other.
View a bison bull, cow & calf as well as items that were made from different parts of the animals that were so integral in social and ceremonial life.

Features
  1. See a replica of a tipi campsite & learn about life before horses were introduced to the plains.
  2. Learn about the Red River Cart & overland commerce before railroads.
  3. See examples (flutes, Red willow and birch bark baskets) of the practices, traditions & beliefs of North Dakotas’ native people.
  4. Visit the Native American Hall of Honor & learn about the outstanding contributions that we continue to share with North Dakota and the world.
Location & More

Where: ND Heritage Center and State Museum, 612 E. Boulevard Ave., Bismarck, ND
Meeting place: The glass atrium located on the east end of the Heritage Center
Activity level: Some walking, handicap accessible
Duration: Starting at 1:30 pm, and lasting about an hour
Tour Guide: Patt Mabin
Price: $18/person