The site was established as a National Park Service (NPS) site in 1974. This is the only NPS site that preserves and protects the Northern Plains Indian Heritage, where American Indians occupied this area for more than 11,000 years.
There are the remains of three Hidatsa village sites within the park boundaries. The Big Hidatsa site has 110 depressions, the Sakakawea (Awatixa) site has 60 depressions and the Lower Hidatsa site has 40 depressions.
This was once a thriving civilization situated along the Knife River. Sakakawea lived at the Awatixa site when she met Lewis and Clark at Fort Mandan. A state-of-the-art museum dedicated to preserving the culture of the Hidatsa, Mandan and Arikara tribes is located at the visitor centre. A 15-minute video about village life can be viewed in the visitor centre theatre. A full-scale reconstruction of a Hidatsa earthlodge features authentic furnishings. Programs in the earthlodge are conducted during the summer months.
For more information visit www.NDTourism.com