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Pembina State Museum - History

First People exhibit in Pembina permanent gallery

Prehistory of the Red River Valley

Archeological investigations conducted in the Red River Valley reveal that people have been utilizing resources in this area for more than 9,000 years.

Prehistoric people harvested berries, acorns, and hazelnuts from the Red River’s gallery forests.  Pike, catfish, drum, and turtles were harvested from the river, along with freshwater clams which were made into ornaments and tools.

Bison, deer, elk, beaver, muskrat, squirrel, and raccoon were hunted and/or trapped.  The archeological record also reveals that ducks were consumed by early people.

Late Prehistory – Just Before the Arrival of Europeans

Before Euro-American contact, Chippewa (also called Ojibway and Ojibwe), Dakota, Assiniboine, Cree, and Cheyenne Indian tribes traveled in and out of the Red River Valley.  They led a nomadic lifestyle, hunting, fishing, and gathering plants.  They lived in tipis covered with birch bark or tanned hides, depending upon what was readily available.

Before European contact, Indians made their tools from natural materials such as stone, shell, wood, and bone.  In the 1700s, European goods such as metal, cloth, glass, and steel began arriving in Pembina through trade with other Native groups.

May 16- Sept. 15, 9 am - 6 pm, Mon.-Sat., 1 pm - 6 pm., Sun.
Sept. 16 - May 15, 9 am - 5 pm, Mon. - Sat., 1 pm - 5 pm, Sun.
The Museum Store closes one half-hour before the museum closes.
Closed New Year’s Day, Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Contact Us:
805 Highway 59
PO Box 456
Pembina, ND 58271
Phone: 701-825-6840
Fax: 701-825-6383