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Theodore Roosevelt National Park,North Dakota

The park is known for the South Unit’s colorful Painted Canyon and the Maltese Cross Cabin, where President Roosevelt once lived.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park,North Dakota
FORDF250HDXLT, Apr 10, 2017
      A rich diversity of cultures utilized the badlands region during historic times. The most significant groups were the Mandan and Hidatsa, whose traditional bison hunting grounds included the Little Missouri River basin. West of the badlands, the Hidatsa’s close relatives, the Crow, also utilized the badlands at the eastern edge of their territory. Many other tribes including the Blackfeet, Gros Ventre, Chippewa, Cree, Sioux, and Rocky Boy came to western North Dakota in the early 19th century mainly for hunting and trading, often at Fort Union Trading Post. These groups did not necessarily seek out the badlands in the way the Mandan, Hidatsa, or Crow might. The Assiniboine occupied a large area of the Northern Great Plains north of the Missouri River. The Arikara entered western and central North Dakota and several bands of the Lakota (Sioux) expanded their range into western North Dakota in the 19th century. Each group has its own history, traditions, spirituality, stories, and uses associated with the badlands. Eagle trapping, bison hunting, and other spiritual purposes were among the traditional uses.

      People have come to the badlands for a wide variety of spiritual purposes. The buttes throughout western North Dakota served as waypoints for traveling tribes and these striking points on the landscape were important in their spirituality. For many groups, the buttes were the homes of animal spirits, and a journey to a specific butte might entail medicine-making rituals specific to that bluff’s animal spirit.

      The badlands were also spiritually significant. Isolated, steep-sloped bluffs were excellent vision quest sites. Vision quests took many forms, but generally involved isolation, prayer, and abstinence from food and water while expecting a vision from the spirit world.

      Today, Theodore Roosevelt National Park remains a significant place for many Native Americans whose association with the land is rooted deeply in the past. A modern visitor experiencing the park might look upon the landscape with the same sense of fascination, wonderment, and reverence that these traditional peoples did, even though their spiritual beliefs and values may vary. On a visit to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, you enter more than a landscape of unique scenery and abundant wildlife – you enter an ancient home filled with legends, lore, and sacred places.

      Cultural History - Theodore Roosevelt National Park

      Great park! I camped at the campground,alone as usual during the winter.Then went on a great snowshoe hike.
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