Time Line Of Historical Events Relating To The Three
Tribes Of The Fort Berthold Indian Reservation
to view a graphic time line.
Mandan migrate from the Ohio Valley.
- Arikara migrate to the Plains.
Hidatsa migration follow the Mandan, Arikara occupy the Bad/Cheyenne River
Coronado encounters the Arikara at the Big Blue River and Mill Creek Valley
in present day Kansas .
- Mandan build the
fortified city of On-a-Slant village which was occupied for at least 200 years
until it was abandoned following the devastating smallpox epidemic of 1781
The Mandan villages are situated between Cannonball and Knife Rivers. The
Third Band is of Hidatsa, called Hidatsa Proper, left their villages in
the Devil's Lake area and settled in the Missouri River Valley.
Arikara trade with the Spanish at Elk Horn River (Present day Nebraska)
Mandan and Hidatsa make contact with English traders on the Hudson Bay
to obtain axes, metal spear points, kettles and awls.
- Double Ditch village is established about this date and inhabited
from A.D. 1675-1780. Double Ditch is located 7˝ miles north of Bismarck on ND
Highway 1804. There is a marker at the site.
- Mandan established
Ward Village about 1675 and and occupied it until 1780. It is located
Several tribes, including the Mandan, Hidatsa, and
Teton occupy and control the Missouri River Valley Plains economy and have
established hunting territories from the Big Bend River in South Dakota to the
mouth of the Yellowstone River.
Mandan draw together in a region 20 miles on either
side of the Heart River.
The Arikara continued migrating north and built villages in the South Dakota
area. They eventually established a trading center in South Dakota. Spanish
fur trader Le Seur finds Arikara around the Fort Pierre area. Arikara located
on the south Heart River.
Arikara at the Grand River in South Dakota where contact is made with the
Separation of Arikara and Schirri bands near the Cannonball.
Vernedyres makes his 1st visit to the Mandan Village.
Arikara recorded as having and trading horses. LaVerendrye locates Arikara
near the mouth of the Cannonball River.
LaVerendrye's son arrives at mouth of Bad River where
he encounters Chief Little Cherry's Band. This band is thought to be absorbed
into the Kiowa's.
The Little Cherry sacred bundle is missing.
Vernedyres returns to the Mandan Villages.
The end of the French and Indian War. Canada issued a "Royal Proclamation:
protecting all American Indians."
Sioux Tribes push into present day Central South Dakota and begins to push the
Arikara into present-day North Dakota.
French establish a post among the Arikara at the Cheyenne River.
The Declaration of Independence was drafted by English Colonists, and the
War for American Independence begins.
Arikara fight the Comanche.
Smallpox devastates three Bands of Hidatsa. They form
one village and move up river to build at the mouth of the Knife River.
Smallpox epidemic also hits the Arikara.
On-a-Slant village is
abandoned by the Mandan.
- The Mitutanka or Matootonha Mandan village was built around 1787, was on
the west bank of the Missouri. Further north and on the East bank was
the Rooptahee or Nuptadi Mandan village. Located 38 miles north of Bismarck
near Washburn, N.D.
Trade and Intercourse Act passed. First laws to regulate trade with Indian
French fur trader Jean Baptiste Trudeau, reports that the Arikara are living
north of the Grand River.
- Smallpox devastates Arikara control over their territory and lose 29
out of 32 villages are wiped out.
Canadian geographer and trader, David Thompson visits the villages.
President Thomas Jefferson buys the Louisiana Territory from France for
three million dollars, & commissions Lewis & Clark to explore.
Lewis & Clark visit the Mandan and Hidatsa villages.
Mandan Chief Shahaka (Big White) travels east with Lewis and Clark to visit
President Thomas Jefferson.
Smallpox hits the Mandan & Hidatsa villages.
Alexander Henry visits the villages and meets the Hidatsa Chief.
Shahaka (Big White) returns home, and his people scoff at his stories of
the "White Man" .
A small band of Mandan live with the Yankton Sioux (Dakota). The Yankton
Chiefs mother was a Mandan.
Arikara attack the General Ashley expedition of fur traders headed for the
Yellowstone to establish trade. They where forced to retreat after
suffering a number of killed and wounded. Ashley returned with his cadre
of famous fur trappers,
American troops, and a large number of Dakota Sioux to chase the Arikara from
their village. The Arikara lost a large number of people and their Chief
General Henry Atkinson and Major Benjamin O'Fallonare sent to arrange treaties
with the Three Tribes.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs (B.I.A.) is created.
The United States ratifies a treaty with the Mandan, Hidatsa, and the
Arikara designed to cement the friendship existing between the U.S. and
Fort Union is established at the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri
Rivers. The fort is 24 miles southwest of Williston on North Dakota
- Fort Clark is establish that Spring by the American Fur Company.
George Catlin sketches the Arikara from his boat
because they are too hostile to go ashore.
Worcester vs. Georgia court ruling establishes
principles of tribal sovereignty within American law.
First steamboat arrives.
Authorization of first U.S. Indian Affairs Commissioner is made to manage
Arikara rejoin the Pawnee in Nebraska on the Loup
A Dakota war party attack and destroy two small
Hidatsa villages. The survivors do not rebuild, but move in with the Mandan.
Prince Maximilian of Wied visits the villages of the Three Tribes and is
very impressed with Mandan Chief Four Bears and Hidatsa Chief Two Crows.
Colonel Henry Dodge holds a peace conference with the Arikara at Bents
Fort in Colorado.
Arikara return to the Missouri
Mandan and Hidatsa warriors attack a band of Dakota
as they leave their village killing 100 to 150 Dakota warriors and capturing
43 women and children.
Winter of 1836-37 - Many are unable to leave the villages to hunt and begin
to starve due to the increased Dakota presence.
Smallpox disseminates the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
Mandan Chief Four Bears dies of small pox.
Most of the surviving Mandan are taken in by the Hidatsa.
The Arikara occupy the abandoned Mandan Village.
The Mandan are attacked by the Dakota (losing only
Maxi'diwia (Waheenee) is born.
Father DeSmet visits the villages of the Three Tribes on his way back to
St. Louis from a sojourn with the Flatheads and Nez Perce. He was much
impressed with a Arikara medicine men.
The United States takes aboriginal claim to the territory of the Mandan,
Hidatsa and Arikara and includes it as part of the Missouri Territory.
Elements of all three tribes unite and establish Like a Fishhook Village
for protection against the Dakota (Sioux).
The first trading post in the area is built by James Kipp , and called Fort
James. (later changed to Fort Berthold, 1846)
800 Dakota warriors attack the Hidatsa village.
Representatives of the Three Tribes sign the Ft.
Father DeSmet baptizes 186 Arikara children. The
majority of these children die of cholera a month later.
A severe cholera epidemic hits Like-A-Fish-Hook village.
Star Village (across from Fort Berthold) )on
Beaver Creek is hit by Smallpox Epidemic.
- Majority of the Mandan have now moved north to
Like-A-Fish-Hook village. Only 5-6 lodges remaining at the
Fort Clark Villages.
- An Arikara buffalo hunting party is attacked by a war party of
600 Minniconjou, Sans Arc, Two Kettle, Cut Head and Santee Sioux outside of
Fort Berthold. At this time their village 6 miles north of Fort
- The Three Tribes where becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the US
Government and their promise to provide quality annuities and protection
of their villages. The Dakota (Sioux) intensified their attacks on the
- Old Fort Berthold is burned by the Dakota (Sioux). Fort Atkinson
becomes the new Fort Berthold.
United States is preoccupied with its Civil War and
ignores treaty agreements to protect the Three Tribes from the Dakota.
Attacks on the Three Tribes further intensify. Hidatsa Chief Four Bears is killed by a Dakota
Final Smallpox Epidemic.
Dakota Territory is formally established which includes the present states of
South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, and most of Wyoming.
There are at least 70 lodges at Like-A-Fish-Hook village.
- The Arikara join the Mandan and Hidatsa at Like-A-Fish-Hook
Father DeSmet tries to raise support for a school at Fort Berthold.
Fort Clark was abandoned.
Hidatsa Chief Crows Breast refuses to join the Dakota
in their war against the Americans.
Army surgeon Washington Matthews writes the first
Hidatsa dictionary, while stationed at Fort Berthold.
The Famous Bloody Knife (Arikara/Yankton) was employed at Fort Berthold
as a trader and scout for General Sully.
The American Civil War ends.
The Three Tribes negotiated the Treaty of 1866 with
the United States and lose more lands on the northeast side of the Missouri
A severe smallpox epidemic ravages the village. and they had another crop
Troops are moved 17 miles from Ft. Berthold to Fort Stevenson.
Mahlon Wilkinson becomes the first B.I.A agent to be in
Colonel DeTrobriand enlists 10 Arikara men including
Bloody Knife as scouts for the United States Army.
The second Ft. Laramie Treaty is negotiated between many of the Plains
tribes and the United States .
Hidatsa Chief Crow Flies High's Band, also called the
Hushga, move off the Reservation to near Ft. Union and maintained their
Independence and culture.
Day Schools are established and children are forced
Fort Berthold is attacked by two hundred Dakota .
40 Arikara Scouts now enlisted in the U.S. Army.
Mission school is established.
Red Butte/Nishu Shell Creek Communities are
Sperry becomes the Commissioner of Indian Affairs for
Fort Berthold. He reopened the government day school.
Howard Mandan (the man with a scarred face), son of
Red Roan Cow, journey make the journey to attend the boarding school at
The Northern Pacific Railroad is completed to
The Three Tribes have nine hundred (900) acres under cultivation.
The old agency buildings burns down and along with
all the records of the Three Tribes.
The Three Tribes refuse to move Oklahoma Indian country.
The Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara tribes met in council with their hereditary
enemies, the Dakota, at Fort Abraham Lincoln for the purposes of concluding
a treaty of peace.
The Dakota, attempt to recruit the Three Tribes to
join their war against the United States.
Son of the Star (Arikara), Crows Breast (Hidatsa) and Red Cow (Mandan),
give land for the Congregational mission.
A U.S. backed tribal Police force is established
despite traditional "policing" and peacekeeping traditions.
13 children left for Carlisle Indian School in
Captain Richard H. Pratt takes 12 Indian children and a 26-year-old Indian
mother of the youngest child from the Fort Berthold reservation to Hampton
Institute in Virginia.
The position of U.S. Government Indian Agent is
The practice of religious and cultural oppression begins as many religious
ceremonies and native language is banned by the Indian Agent.
The Three Tribes lose the southern half of the
reservation so that the United States can fulfill a grant made by Congress to
the Northern Railway..
Son of a Star (Arikara) and Poor Wolf (Hidatsa) travel to Hampton Institute
to inspect conditions.
The Three Tribes purchases a threshing machine for
their wheat, oats, and barley crops.
A flour mill is in operation at Fort Berthold.
Every family is issued a wagon.
Oscar H. Will, a horticulturist, establishes a seed
company in Bismarck, obtains corn seed from the Tribes at Fort Berthold.
Congress passed laws to convert army forts into Indian schools.
The First allotments are made to tribal members.
Crow Flies High’s Hushga band returns and settles in
the Shell Creek area of Fort Berthold.
Shell Creek Day School is opened for the Arikara.
Many Tribal members take their allotments and move from Like-A-Fish-Hook
village to Elbowoods.
The Three Tribes lose title to land lying north of the 48th parallel of
north latitude to the United States.
The Dawes Act is passed by the United States Congress.
The Fort Berthold Indian Agent withholds rations from
families who do not send their children to school.
6-10 thousand cattle graze in the western region of the reservation. Stockmen
and the government agree to make payment in beef cattle or fifty cents an
The Last Okipa (Mandan Sun dance) Ceremony is held .
The agency doctor, Josiah Best, of Virginia, is
placed in charge of Fort Berthold Reservation.
Many people from the Three Tribes haul 100 wagons
loaded with buffalo bones to Minot, Dakota Territory, a thriving railroad city
of 5,000. The Tribal members get $6.00 per ton.
Wolf Chief requests the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C.
to grant Fort Berthold a school. A boarding school and a day school for
communities and districts are authorized.
Red Butte/Nishu/Shell Creek/Independence/Charging
Eagle/Lucky Mound/Beaver Dam/Elbowoods Communities are established.
The Agency is moved to Elbowoods.
Another reduction of land is made by Executive Order
to the General Allotment Act.
The Department of Interior distribute cattle to each
Indian family to maintain a living. Fort Berthold reservation was officially
surveyed and 949 allotments were made.
The United States Congress ratifies the agreement of
1886. The lands ceded by the tribe were opened to homesteaders by proclamation
of President Benjamin Harrison.
Passage of the Allotment Act of 1891 allows members of the Three Tribes
to become United States citizens "with the same rights and immunities as
all American citizens.
Hushga return to Fort Berthold Reservation and mostly settle in
Shell Creek District.
Restoration of 23,000 acres to Fort Berthold by
Authorization for day schools to be constructed by the government. The
first one being Armstrong Day School for the Arikara. Three others were
constructed and opened by 1995.
Charles Hoffman, a young, educated Arikara, opens a day school at Shell
The deserted military reservation of Fort Stevenson, approximately 17 miles
from fort Berthold, is sold by the War Department. The Three Tribes attempt
to claim the land, but are unsuccessful.
Fort Berthold citizens register to vote and cast more than 100 votes at
a county commissioner election in Elbowoods and Armstrong.
From 1906 to 1918 Gilbert Wilson works with and
writes extensively about the Three Tribes.
Congress passes the Burke Act, amending Dawes Allotment Act and establishes
twenty-five year trust period for tribal allotments.
The sacred WaterBuster bundle is sold to the Heyes Museum, to protect and
save it for future generations.
The Homestead Act is passed and Congress opens 21 full and partial townships
north and east of the Missouri River for homesteading without the Tribe's
A Fort Berthold delegation travels to Washington, D.C. to plead for religious
597 new allotments are approved for 112,544 acres.
Lands taken in the Homestead Act of June 1, 1910 are opened to American
Frances Densmore records Mandan and Hidatsa music.
The first building is erected on the Parshall town site, which is incorporated June 22, 1915.
Bureau of Indian Affairs dental services begin.
World War 1
Fort Berthold citizens purchase $6,000 worth of Liberty Loan bonds to help
support the United States in World War II.
George Will obtains Arikara Winter Squash from Gilmore.
Will obtained seed from Mandan banquet squash, also from Gilmore.
Will obtains seed for Arikara watermelon.
U.S. Government grants citizenship to all original inhabitants and immediately
start paying taxes.
Seven Sacred Arikara Bundles are left of twelve.
Twenty thousand dollars appropriated by Congress for a hospital on Fort
Berthold. The Meriam Report submitted to the Secretary of the Interior.
The problem of Indian administration.
Alfred Bowers begins his study of the Mandan and Hidatsa. Martha Beckwith,
a folklorist, publishes myths and legends of the Mandan and Hidatsa.
Hospital Established at Elbowoods.
The Court of Claims orders Federal Government to compensate the Three Tribes
for eleven million acres. Five million is awarded. The Bureau of Indian
Affairs deducts three million for services rendered. One year later, it
is distributed on per capita basis of $1,191.50 per capita.
The Department of Interior and the Corps of Engineers conduct the first
feasibility study for a dam that would flood Reservation lands. The Three
Tribes strongly oppose.
The Three Affiliated Tribes Constitution is created .
The Johnson O'Malley Act is passed. Facets of Indian
administration to be assigned to numerous federal agencies.
The Indian Reorganization Act is passed by Congress,
to provide the Indian the greatest measure of control of their tribal lands
and affairs. Reversed trend to split up Indian land holdings. Provided for
tribal ownership and self-government.
The Three Tribes adopt a constitution, by-laws, a
business charter and elect a tribal council.
The Four Bears bridge is constructed over the Missouri river.
Three Affiliated Tribes, adopts Constitution By-Laws
as a result of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1936.
The Indian Health Services Division of Indian Health in the Bureau of Indian
Affairs, Department of Interior is established.
The Sacred Waterbuster Bundle is returned.
World War II Tribal members served in all wars.
The Tribal Council passes a resolution strongly opposing any dam below
A final plan to create the Garrison Dam is passed by
Congress and called the Flood Control Act .
The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) is founded.
Indian Claims Act is passed and provides a forum to hear Indian land claims
against the United States.
Construction of the Garrison Dam begins and the relocation of tribal members
Payments under Public Law 296 are allocated for lands taken as a result
Additional allocations of monies are made as a result of Public Law 437
for "land readjustment" and further compensation for the U.S. breaches
of treaties as a result of dam.
Hoover Commission on Reorganization recommends a Termination policy for
Ground-breaking ceremony is held for the New Town site.
$7.5 million compensation distributed: per capita & tribal economic
Indian relocation program is established to separate Native Americans from
their Reservations and mainstream them into American society.
Relocation of the reservation population is accomplished, and the new communities
of White Shield, Twin Buttes, Mandaree are established.
Garrison Diversion Dam is completed.
Tribal people allowed legally consume alcohol.
Mandaree School was constructed.
Flooding of the tribe’s rich Missouri River Valley is completed and Lake
Sakakawea is created.
Tribal Museum was constructed through federal funds and private donation
by Helen Gough, Arikara.
Tribal Governments become eligible for federal grants .
The B.I.A changes policy to allow Tribal members the first opportunity to
buy Reservation lands due to dwindling Reservation land bases.
Tribes become eligible for loans from the Housing and Urban Development
Program and Farmers Home Administration.
Economic Opportunity Act provides a means for Indians to participate in
& control their own programs for economic development.
Three Affiliated Tribes Headstart Program is established.
Community Action Program -OEO Began Operations Indian Religious Freedom
Mandaree Community Center establishes the Neighborhood Youth Corp.
Indian Civil Rights Act Minni-Tohe Clinic Built.
The Four Bears Complex created.
Northrop Corporation begins plant operations in New Town.
Community Alcoholism Programs begin under the Office of Economic Opportunity
White Shield community building constructed.
North Segment Community Building Constructed
Legal Services Program is established on Fort Berthold
Congress passes the Indian Education Act of 1972, creating a BIA-level
Office of Indian Education as well as a National Advisory Council on Indian
Education designed to improve the quality of public education for Indian
City of New Town vs. US 8th circuit Court of Appeals. The decision was
that the Homestead Act of 1910 did not remove lands from reservation boundaries.
New Town and Parshall are legally within the boundaries of the reservation.
Fort Berthold Community College is established.
Congress passes the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance
Act, expanding tribal control over reservation programs and authorizing
federal funds to build needed public- school facilities on or near Indian
KMHA Tribal Radio Station Established
Indian Child Welfare Act.
New Tribal Administration building is constructed.
KMHA Radio Station Built.
TAT-Environmental /Pollution Monitoring begans.
Three Tribes amend Tribal Constitution, extends jurisdiction.
The Garrison Diversion Unit Joint Tribal Advisory is formed.
The Tribe regains mineral rights within the flooded
area under the Mineral Restoration Act .
Ominibus Drug Act helps the Tribe fight drug and alcohol abuse.
The Joint Tribal Action Committee (JTAC) submits it final report.
Courts establish rights for Tribal people to file suits against Non-Tribal
MHA Times Newspaper established (the only weekly Indian owned newspaper
in the State of North Dakota).
Three Affiliated Tribes, BIA and Bureau of Reclamation begin planning phase
for MR & I Water Supply System.
Three Tribes lobby for support of JTAC recommendations in Congress.
National Indian Gaming Commission, a federal regulatory commission within
the U.S. Department of Interior, is established.
Tribal Education Office Established - P.L. 93-638 Contract.
Work on solid waste management plan and disposal site begins.
Tribe begins construction on the Dialysis Unit.
Three Affiliated Tribes Wellness Committee is established .
Dialysis contract between Three Tribes and Indian Health.
Tribally owned construction company (LCM) is established Mandaree Electronics
Senate Bill 168 and House Resolution are firmly introduced into Congress.
Construction begins on MR & I Project & Dialysis Center.
Segment Offices Established.
Three Tribes Tribal Tax Codes Adopted.
Three Affiliated Tribes Enact an Education Philosophy and Mission
Three Affiliated Tribes Wellness Conference held.
Twin Buttes Community Center opens.
Tribal and State Gaming Compact signed.
JTAC Negotiations were settled.
Fort Berthold Community College classrooms and library facilities Built.
A new facility is constructed and is designed to serve as the main administration
facility for Fort Berthold Community College.
1st Annual Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Education Week.
Three Affiliated Tribes Veterans Office established.
Expansion of Four Bear's Casino.
- The Four Bears Casino breaks ground for the new Four Bear Events
Center, 80 room wing and Pool Area.
- Tribal Administration Building Expanded.
- 1st Annual Nux Baaga Pow-wow in Parshall
- Brook Heights Apartment Complex completed at Four Bears.
- Chairman Tex G. Hall is elected as President of National
Congress of Indian.
- Construction begins on the New North Segment Multi-Purpose Building,
Commodity warehouse, juvenile detention facility, and new
Four Bears Bridge.
- The Fort Berthold Community College dedicates a new Cultural Center.
and culture of the Three Affiliated Tribes Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara
Nation: Resource Guide. (1994). New Town, ND: Three Affiliated
MHA Times. New Town, ND: Three