By The State Historical Society of North Dakota
The premiere of a new documentary film, The People of the Upper Missouri: The Mandans, will be shown on Thursday, July 12 at 7 p.m. at the National Energy Center of Excellence (Room 304) at Bismarck State College.
Focusing on the history, traditions, and material culture of the Mandan people, the documentary integrates historical imagery, contemporary interviews with residents of Fort Berthold, interviews with historians and research specialists, and ethnographic and archaeological data that trace 800 years of Mandan resilience, adaptability, and continuity.
The film begins with a contemporary portrait of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara people and travels backwards through space and time, recounting the unspeakable tragedy and loss incurred by the construction of the Garrison Dam; the peak of Mandan population, power, and prosperity as agriculturalists and traders on the Heart River during the sixteenth century; and the origins of a cultural identity that is bound in memories of ancestors and inextricably tied to the Missouri River landscape. Narrator Calvin Grinnell (Tribal Historian of the Three Affiliated Tribes) and Dr. Edwin Benson (last fluent speaker of the Mandan language) will provide an introduction to the film.
This documentary was produced by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and made possible through funding by the North Dakota Humanities Council.
The film will be followed by a preview of In the Words of Our Ancestors: The Mandan Language and Oral Traditions Preservation Project.
For a calendar of upcoming state historic site programs, contact the State