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Expedition - Three Affiliated Tribes

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steel engraving of Mandan Village

The three tribes are comprised of the Mandans, Hidatsas, and Arikaras. Although the first two had long-established friendships, the Caddoan-speaking Arikaras (related to the central plains Pawnee) later joined in the interests of common defense against the Sioux. By 1845, when Like-A-Fish-Hook village was established, it became increasingly common among white fur traders to refer to the “Three Affiliated Tribes” and the name has been used to this day.

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