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Press Release - Public Invited to Join Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure

Contact: Erok Holland

Public Invited to Join Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure

BISMARCK—The public is invited to join the 2015 Heritage Outbound Winter Adventure, an annual day of activities and learning at Fort Clark State Historic Site and Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site on Saturday, February 14, 2015. Sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota, the cost is $65 and includes two meals, snacks, and snowshoe use. Preregistration is required by Feb. 11 at

The day begins with snowshoeing (weather permitting) at Fort Clark State Historic Site and a discussion covering historic maps of the area, how the Missouri River has changed its course, and recent archaeological work. Participants will travel to Knife River Indian Villages, just north of Stanton, ND, for lunch at the Visitor Center and an afternoon of snowshoeing the trails through Hidatsa villages.

State Historical Society of North Dakota staff Erik Holland, Timothy Reed, and Wendi Field Murray will be joined by David Cain of the US Army Corps of Engineers, Garrison Project, to lead activities.

Participants will visit Awaitixa Xi=e, or Lower Hidatsa Village, and Awatixa, also known as Sakakawea Village, and learn about Hidatsa village life and the Knife and Missouri rivers through the lenses of archaeology, history and oral tradition. Participants will warm up with hot chocolate while learning about earthlodge life and learning skills such as striking flint to steel to create sparks for kindling fires.

Outside, Dave Cain will teach the group how to use atlatls to throw spears at buffalo targets. In past years competition between participants has proven that the group may “go hungry or feast,” said Holland, “depending their newly acquired skills.” Staff will install an ice-coated track near the Visitor Center for sliding ice gliders (feathered rib bone darts) in a traditional winter game.

Wendi Field Murray, Archaeology Collections manager, will provide an overview of historical uses and cultural significance of plants found along the Missouri River in North Dakota. This information is based on an ethnobotany project conducted by the University of Arizona and Three Affiliated Tribes.

“Participants will experience an evening in the earthlodge around a crackling fire,” said Erik Holland, curator of education. “This will be an unforgettable evening.” Participants will enjoy a traditional feast while hearing traditional stories from Amy Mossett, a Mandan-Hidatsa from the Three Affiliated Tribes.

This outdoor program requires moderate physical activity and is recommended for ages 12 and older. Participants are responsible for their own warm clothing. Find more information at or contact Erik Holland at 701.328.2792 or

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