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People Encountered - Who Were the Tribes that Lewis and Clark Encountered in North Dakota?

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Arrival of expedition to earthlodge village painting

Their primary contacts were the Mandan and Hidatsa people, located in five villages on the upper Missouri near the Knife River confluence. These tribes were semi-sedentary, agricultural bands who lived in earth lodges. Before and after the advent of the Corps of Discovery, these tribes were the focal point of trade between other Native Peoples, some of them as distant as the central and southern plains. Other tribes with whom they had contact in North Dakota included Dakota and Yanktonai bands, and just south of the present-day North Dakota- South Dakota border, the Arikara. The Arikara are a Caddoan-speaking people who were related to the Pawnee of the central plains. After repeated conflicts with the Mandan and Hidatsa, as well as the Sioux, the Arikara made peace with her northern neighbors and eventually joined them at Like-a-Fish-Hook village near Fort Berthold in the mid-1840's. Like-a-Fish-Hook was abandoned after allotment began and today it is under the waters of Lake Sakakawea.

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