Tuesday, June 21, 2022
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
This was an important central location for a trading network that stretched from the Great Plains to the Gulf Coast, and the Northwest Pacific Coast. The local tribes acted as middlemen. Items traded included beans, corn, hides, tobacco, tools, and shells. After contact with Europeans guns, cloth, manufactured beads, and iron pots were introduced. A smallpox epidemic in 1837 decimated the tribes and by 1870 most of the people were living in the Fort Berthold Reservation which covers a small portion of their original territory.