The History of the American West – North Dakota

Prior to European contact, Native Americans inhabited North Dakota for thousands of years. In the historic period, American Indian tribes included the Mandan people, the Dakota people and the Yanktonai, the latter two tribes of the Lakota peoples. The first European to reach the area was the French-Canadian trader La VĆ?¶?rendrye, who led an exploration party to Mandan villages in 1738.