History of North Dakota is incomplete without mention of Native Americans who lived in the state of North Dakota even before the region was recognized as North Dakota. This was period of time before the Europeans arrived in North Dakota. There were at least seven groups of Native Americans, Chippewa, Mandan, Hidasta, Cheyenne, Assiniboine, Arikara and Yanktonai. It is said even tribe called Cree spend their time here. It is also mentioned that tribe Arapho may have spent some time in North Dakota in red river valley that runs across the state and Minnesota.
The current article will focus on the three affiliated tribe who was known for their diplomacy and were praised by European traders for their meticulous life style and sophisticated farming methods.
Tribes Hidasta, Mandan and Arikara were primarily farmers and lived off land growing crops of sunflower, corn, pumpkins, beans and squash. They liked to dwell in earthen lodging along the Missouri river in Central North Dakota region. They even liked to hunt for food and were mediators when it came to dealing in trade with other Native Americans. They are today identified as Three Affiliated Tribes. Though there is a similarity in how the three tribes liked to live, each tribe maintained its own distinct personality when it came to its culture. They spoke different language, observed different custom and lived several miles away from each other.
The name of Hidatsa is derived from village name and it is speculation that it could mean willow based on some sources. They were also called as Minnetaree by their allies. The Hidatsa tribe came from union of three tribe groups: Hidatsa proper, the Awatixa, and the Awaxawi. Their original dwelling place was Miniwakan, the Devil’s Lake region of North Dakota. Later they were forced to move southwestward by the Lakota tribe. Lewis and Clark first came across them in 1804 near Missouri river.
The tribe dwindled in size due to small pox epidemic in 1837-1838. The tribe made many alliances in its quest for peaceful survival. The famous among them are the alliance with Mandan and then with Arikara – thus forming the three affiliated tribes. Hidasta are matrilineal where the line descends through mother’s side. They had intermarried amongst early Mandan and the children of the tribe are taught to known both the dialects as well as the mixture of the two dialects which is the current dialect of the tribe. The most famous personality known to western culture is Buffalo Bird Woman whose life was extensively researched by Gilbert Livingston Wilson in early twentieth century. He was able to portray the accurate picture of the tribe using her life example.
Mandan dwelled on banks near Missouri river and its tributaries that are found in current North Dakota and South Dakota. Archeologists have placed them as migrants who moved from Ohio valley to upper Missouri river. While farming and tending buffalo was their prime occupation, they were keen on trade. When epidemics like small pox reduced their tribe size, they formed alliance with Hidasta and Arikara for survival.
Arikara are known for growing and eating corns. They hunted buffalo in winter and lived as farmer in spring. They were famous for creating boats out of single buffalo skin over frame of willow that could easily transport 3 – 4 men across river. They have occupied various points on the Missouri River between Cheyenne River, South Dakota, and Fort Berthold, North Dakota.
Around time period of 1850 to 1870 the tribe signed treaty with United State, and the tribe was sent to live in reservation called Fort Berthold Reservation. Even today, the reservation is occupied by the members of the tribe.
There is a global need to find new source of oil supply to meet the ever-increasing demand that modern life has brought about throughout the world. The supply is no longer restricted to certain corners of the world where developed countries resided. Today with new emerging economic powers like India and China along with other developing countries are clamoring for more oil and putting strain on existing gas resources. This has resulted in more increased oil prices and search is on new resources or alternative power supply that will put an end to ever nearing global crisis. The United States in its bid to lower the prices of oil has been looking at domestic grounds and one of the places that it has found to contain gas is North Dakota.
The existence of oil in North Dakota is not original news. The oil in North Dakota state was detected in 1951 in Tioga. This brought about change in what was known as agricultural state. While farming industry languished, coal, oil and gas industry emerged as winner. Within the years from when the oil was discovered to 1984, North Dakota had produced 53 billion barrel of oil becoming leading oil supplier. The oil production in North Dakota was stopped as the focus changed to more lucrative and less intensive supply field and the state became hollow shell of former glory with the young generation moving out of state for better life. In 2008, the US geologist survey concluded that there was 3.0 to 4.3 billion barrels in the Bakken Shale of recoverable oil out of which 2.1 billion barrels is found under North Dakota. This brought the state back into prominence.
“Bakken Shale Formation” is a collection of rocks where there is a continuous oil accumulation thereby rendering the land to be oil rich. Bakken shale formation was first studied in 1953 by geologist called J.W. Nordquist. Bakken is described as rock unit that was dated between Late Devonian to Early Mississippian age and which occupied subsurface of the Williston Basin which covered parts of Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan in Canada. The rock is made of a three subset – lower shale, middle dolomite, and upper shale. While lower and upper shale are marine originated organic-rich shale, the middle portion dolomite is where the oil resides in the rock. There were various attempts made to recover the oil but it was always met with technical difficulties. It was not easy to recover the oil from the region and other places like Alaska gained favor. Today, thanks to new technology, the state has once again regained its former status as leading oil producer in US
There has been some controversy on how much oil can be recovered from Bakken as the rock holding the oil is notoriously difficult to drill due to low porosity and permeability. But new technology has been able to give new hope that there is a possibility to recover as much as 50 percent. This has quadrupled the interest in North Dakota as having one of the highest accumulation two feet underground. In past three years oil production in North Dakota has moved up several thousand barrels placing the state as fourth ranking oil producer in US moving it ahead of state of Oklahoma and Louisiana and is placed just below Texas, Alaska and California. There is survey which estimates that North Dakota could one day produce more oil than Alaska and can reach the second position- a thought which at this point is pure conjecture.
Currently North Dakota creates about 250,000 barrels a day coming out of the ground in crude oil production, but new technology is helping tap new sources to gain more oil. New oil fields have opened up in places where it had been once been difficult places to drill. This has reduced the prices on oil and brought oil price reduction in the country.
The impact on the state of North Dakota has been multifold. What had once been considered as poorest state in the nation is now home of many millionaire land owners on whose land the oil was discovered. There is new prosperity with new jobs created everywhere and more people are moving back into state than leaving it. The question now remain is how will state of North Dakota handle this sudden wealth and where will it go from here. Or will the history of State repeat itself.
Native Americans are original natives of North Dakota who were forced by out of state due to internal warfare, killed due to epidemics like small pox or left the state due to European invasion. Currently majority of the Native Americans live in the state reservation or at least has relative who lives in the state reservation. In the last article we focused on three affiliated tribe who were known for diplomacy and had better relation with European invaders. The current article will focus on rest of the tribes that lived in North Dakota at some point of time in history.
Nakoda or Assiniboine were good allies of Cree. They were not farmers. They were mainly engaged in warfare. They came from Canada to trade with people living in Missouri and for long time did not settle anywhere near limits of North Dakota region. They were roving buffalo hunters and hunted on horsebacks. They liked to live in buffalo skin tipi. The men wore scalp-lock and maintained military like disciplined life style. Their language is dialect of Dakota.
Cheyenne were good allies of Arapaho tribe and called themselves Dzitsistas which means “our people.” They were originally woodland dweller who then formed association with three affiliated tribe and became farmers. They were also known to be excellent horsemen and buffalo hunters and have reputation of being strong warriors. They later formed alliance with Dakota tribe. For some time they lived at Sheyenne fork of Red River and then moved out of North Dakota state.
Chippewa tribe is known for having defeated other tribes such as fox and Dakota tribe and has highest population among surviving Native Americans in US today. They were original forest dwellers and lived in Northeastern side of North Dakota. The name is popular adaption of Ojibway.
Dakota are also known as Lakota or Dakota Sioux or Teton Lakota. The name is derived from Chippewa word enemy of west. They spoke three dialects and consisted of seven groups. They were known to fierce warrior and even forced Chippewa tribe to move from their place of living. They have earned respect for their mastery over military tactics and war. The group has known to occupy at various times parts of the eastern, southern, and southwestern margins of North Dakota.
Studies have indicated that the Arapaho tribe had once lived in the Red River Valley in what is now Minnesota and North Dakota. They were close associates of Cheyenne. They called themselves as Iñunaina which means trader. They were basically farmers who were peace lovers, friendly and accommodating to strangers. They were famous for their annual sun dance tribal ceremony. There is no direct reference of them observing clannish behavior.
For some time Cree tribe lived in extreme eastern part of North Dakota. Cree are the largest group of Native Americans that exist in the world. They mostly live on reservation in Montana, Canada. Their language is a language of the Algonquin family. They lived in buffalo skin teepees and traveled by birch bark canoes. They also traded with European settlers.
When the tribes signed treaty with United State in the time frame between 1850 and 1870, they were moved to live in reservation. The three federally recognized reservations are Three Affiliated Tribe, Spirit Lake Sioux Tribe which is located at devil’s lake in North Dakota and the other is Standing Rock Reservation which is spread between South and North Dakota. Lastly is Turtle Mountain Reservation which mostly holds Chippewa is in north central region of North Dakota.
One of the famous spots to visit while travelling through North Dakota state is world famous -International Peace Garden. A testament to friendship between two neighboring nation, the United States and Canada, it is considered as living monument to harmonious existence that can exist between two countries without a fortified border. The garden is considered to be symbol of peace from where North Dakota has derived its nickname of Peace Garden State, which can be seen on license plates. It is said that the idea of building garden on border of US and Canada was planted in 1929 at a Toronto convention of the Professional Grounds Management Society.
The International Peace Garden is around 3.65 sq. miles and borders Canada and the United States, in the state of North Dakota and the province of Manitoba. Nestled between these two towns International Peace Garden is considered to be one of its kinds of garden throughout the world and attracts thousands of visitors every year. The US portion of park is located near town of Dunseith, North Dakota, which is Gaelic word for “City of Peace.” The entrance to the garden is situated at juncture where Manitoba Highway 10 becomes North Dakota Highway 3. The conjecture is the entrance spot was chosen owing to the location which is situated on longest North-South highway in the world.
International Peace Garden was opened in the year 1932 on July 14 th. Around 50,000 Canadian and US citizens gathered on wild over grown land bordering Canada province of Manitoba and State of North Dakota. The gathering was to commemorate stone cairn built by citizen of North Dakota. On plaque was written words: “To God in His glory, we two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as man shall live we shall not take up arms against each other.” The garden has forged solid relations between two diverse countries that have peaceful relation that has lasted several generations till today. The flag of both the countries are placed near each other symbolizing this unity.
The main part of the garden is floral garden that encompasses around 2,339 acres and has display of around 150,000 flowers. The flower display changes every year but the flags of the two country remain the same. There is a large floral clock, donated in 1966, is around 13-18 feet in size. Depending upon the design the clock displays around 2,000 to 2,500 flowers each year. The whole area comprises of two pristine freshwater lakes, several scenic hiking and driving trails, wildflowers, waterfalls, and a large variety of North American birds and animals. It takes around 2 hours of car drive to go through the drive trail.
One of the features of International Peace garden is “Arma Sifton bells” which is group of 14 bells made by Gillett & Johnston and gifted by Central United Church of Brandon, Manitoba. It was given in 1972 to the garden since then the chimes have been rung and heard every 15 minutes and on hour, throughout the garden. Another famous feature is twin tower which spans the border and with a peace chapel. The walls of the chapel are inscribed with notable quotes about peace. One of the most awe-inspiring monuments is the Peace Tower, which was built in the 1980s as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations. The four pillars signify the congregation of people from the four corners of the world.
Another recent feature is the twisted girders rescued from the World Trade Center after attacks of September 11, 2001that commemorate memories of “9-11” victims. It is considered to be a symbol of peace and democracy. There are seven Peace Poles on which is written, “May Peace Prevail” in twenty-eight different languages that was a present from Japanese Government.
The garden is open year round 24 hours a day but is manned only between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm. The entrance to the garden requires no custom check till the person exits the garden.
International Peace Garden is truly unique which provides “Like No Other Place on Earth” experience.