Plan Your Visit | About Our Foundation | Educational Info | The Dakota Institute | Membership | Blog | Shop
Request More Info | Donations | The Jefferson Hour | Centennial Farms | Discover Lewis & Clark
Current Programs

6 Strange & Wonderful Things about North Dakota Agriculture
Find out what sets us apart.

What If You Were There?
Join the Corps of Discovery! Take on the roles of Captain Lewis and other members of the Corps, and test your mettle with three actual expedition events.

Roots In Boomtown: The Life and Times Of Oscar H. Will
Today, many people see North Dakota as a place of economic opportunity. It was no different in the late 19th century. Then, a young New Yorker came here seeking a more stable life. What he found was a place to spend a lifetime. Hear the story of how this young seedsman came to the prairie and made it his home.

Who Wants to Be a Fur Trader?
Will you make it or break it as a trader at Fort Clark? Come play this game of chance to find out!

Oscar H. Will & Co.
What happens when a Victorian-era businessman bucks the trend and turns to American Indians for expertise? In the case of Oscar Will, you create a legacy that benefits us right down to the present.

Eat Local
How well did Great Plains tribes eat? Taste for yourself in this Hidatsa cooking demonstration!

Native Sports: Play the Upper Great Plains First Games
Darts with moving targets, games with hundreds of players, mile-long playing fields. Native Americans enjoyed sports on an epic scale. Try your hand at one or more of North Dakota's oldest sports. Think you have what it takes?

Packing with Lewis
Discover the secret to packing for a long trip! Lewis' skills helped the Expedition survive their winter in North Dakota and the long journey.

The Sunflower: Natures Perfection
Many years ago the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Indians relied on their crops to stay alive. One of the crops they could almost always depend on was the sunflower. Able to survive the harsh Dakota climates, the Native Americans made use of it's seeds for both food and oil. Today we love to sit down and enjoy the salty flavor at sporting events, cook outs, or even just around the fire. Join us as we talk about the ways sunflowers are grown, harvested, and used, both in Native American society and modern society.

Bolsheviks on the Prairie: The Socialist Revolution in North Dakota
In the 1910's, the radical Non-Partisan League organized North Dakota farmers and won control of both the legislature and the governorship. They didn't stay long, but thanks to their efforts, North Dakota still has some of the most unusual farm policy in the country.

Jean Baptiste Charbonneau: Quite the Character
Mountain man. Hunter. Trail guide. Clerk. Jean Baptiste Charbonneau was all these things and more. It is somehow fitting that the Pomp of Lewis and Clark fame traveled so extensively, but who knew he did so much?

Take It or Leave It?
What should you pack for a long trip to a new place? Meriwether Lewis' choices can help you decide! We'll use period objects to think about the difference between "wants" and "needs" in the Expedition's time - and in ours.

William Clark: The Formative Years
If you were asked to drop everything and travel across the continent, would you have the confidence to do it? William Clark did, and it's all because of what he learned growing up. Follow Clark from the parlors of Virginia to the Kentucky frontier and see how these places - and the experiences they had in store - would shape one of America's greatest explorers.

WA-BAM! The Guns of Lewis & Clark
Without its guns, the Corps would have starved. So how do you keep dozens of critical machines working on a rough, 7,000-mile expedition? Watch a period muzzleloader in action and see how Meriwether Lewis aced this question. 

This Program is... For the Birds!
Did you know? Almost all of the 28 types of birds mentioned in Lewis and Clark's North Dakota journals can still be seen here! Find out what they are - and where you can find them!

Walk the Trail like Meriwether Lewis
Lewis spent much of the Expedition walking along the river banks, looking for new wild plants. Come outside and see what he saw on this 30-minute nature walk.

Flint, Steel, and Fire! The Importance of Being Able to Start a Fire at Fort Mandan
The basic fire starting kit carried by a frontiersman in the Lewis & Clark Expedition consisted of a steel striker, a piece of North Dakota flint or similar stone, cordage to make a nest, and char cloth. You'll learn about each item, how they work, and get to try them for yourself!

The Great Missouri General Store: The Mandan Villages as a Center of Trade
Before Lewis and Clark traveled the Missouri River through our part of North Dakota, the Mandan and Hidatsa could already be found here. The villages they lived in were already important places for traders to visit because of the many different things they could find there. Learn how the Mandan became important in trade and discover what kinds of items could be found where they lived…some of them may surprise you!

Who Were the Mandans?
It's 1700, and you're on your way to one of North America's largest urban centers-the Mandan Nation. What do you need to know? Find out with hands-on reproductions and original artifacts.

Sakakawea Exposed: The Myths and Legends Behind the Young Shoshone Girl
She's one of the most well-known names in history and her story is incredible! Sakakawea was the young Indian girl that traveled to the Pacific Coast and back with the famous Corps of Discovery. Unfortunately, stories have developed about her that are not necessarily true. In this "Mythbuster" styled program, we take a look at these misconceptions and decided whether they can be labeled confirmed, plausible… or BUSTED!
North Dakota Wildlife in 1804 and 2013
Did you know that North Dakota used to be home to mountain lions and grizzly bears? Get out in the same nature that Lewis and Clark experienced and learn how the landscape has changed since their time. 

Jefferson's To-Do List
The year is 1804 and President Jefferson has a dream. The dream of knowing what is in and beyond the newly purchases Louisiana Territory. He trusts this dream to be completed by two highly trusted men, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. To help these men on their journey, he has provided them with a list of tasks to complete. A list that he wants completed by the time they arrive home. Join us as we check off the tasks that Lewis & Clark finished, and learn about the ones they failed to achieve.

Done for Posterity:  Lewis & Clark and the Opening of the West
In 1814, Lewis and Clark's expedition journals were finally published. Included with this extensive written record of their trek across the continent was a map drawn by William Clark. In the years that followed its publication, the information about the West that it provided would entice individuals, families, and groups of people to travel - and settle - beyond the Mississippi River.  Discover how this map came to be and learn about the role it played in the settlement of the trans-Mississippi West.

Nine Young Men from Kentucky: Learning About Army Life on the Lewis & Clark Expedition
Today, Lewis and Clark's men are often portrayed as having more in common with Daniel Boone than George Washington. In the early 1800s, though, much about their daily lives would have seemed more familiar to colonial veterans than frontiersmen. Explore the experiences of the expedition's new recruits as they learned about army life as part of the Corps of Discovery.

Beginning To End: The Lewis and Clark Expedition Timeline
Lewis and Clark were given the task of exploring and documenting the Louisiana Purchase. From their departure on May 14, 1804, all the way to their return back home on September 23, 1806, we will cover all of the major events that made the Corps of Discovery famous. In an easy to follow date-by-date format, this program is great for anyone who wants to learn the basics of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Maximilian, Naturalist
Prince Maximilian of Wied was a dedicated naturalist and spent much of his time on the Missouri River observing and describing the plants, animals and people he saw. Could you have described your surroundings the way Maximilian did? Come test your powers of observation to find out!

Karl Bodmer: Portrait in Time
If someone asked you to help document a land at the edge of your civilization, would you go? If you believed that everything you saw would be gone shortly after you arrived, what would you do? Find out how Karl Bodmer helped preserve the landscape and people of America in this program.