North Dakota Indian Tribes

The following tribes at one time are recorded in history as having resided within the present state of North Dakota. If the tribe name is in bold, then North Dakota is the primary location known for this tribe, otherwise we provide the tribes specifics as it pertains to North Dakota and then provide a link to the main tribal page.

  • Arapaho Indians. Certain traditions indicate that the Arapaho at one time lived in the Red River Valley in what is now Minnesota and North Dakota, but they had left before the historic period.
  • Arikara Indians
  • Assiniboin Indians. In early days the Assiniboin were constantly coming across from Canada to fight and trade with the tribes of the upper Missouri, but they did not settle within the limits of North Dakota for any considerable period.
  • Cheyenne Indians. When they left Minnesota the Cheyenne settled for a while on the Sheyenne fork of Red River after which they moved beyond the limits of the State of North Dakota.
  • Chippewa Indians. After they had obtained guns the Chippewa pushed westward as far as the Turtle Mountains which gave their name to a Chippewa band. There were 2,966 Chippewa in North Dakota in 1910.
  • Dakota Indians. While working their way west from Minnesota, bands of Dakota occupied at various times parts of the eastern, southern, and southwestern margins of North Dakota and a part of the Standing Rock Agency is within the limits of the State. In 1910 1,190 Dakota were making their homes on its soil.
  • Hidatsa Indians
  • Mandan Indians

Swanton, John R. The Indian Tribes of North America. Bureau of American Ethnology, Bulletin 145. Washington DC: US Government Printing Office. 1953.

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