Explore North Dakota this summer

If you are looking to save gas this summer by vacationing near home, you might check out what’s happening these days in tribal tourism.

It appears there are plenty of interesting and fun events planned this summer besides the colorful pow wows the tribes have been known for years for hosting throughout the summer.

Senior Reporter Jill Schramm visited earlier this week with some tribal tourism officials and here is some of what she found out:

“Traditional food and fun for kids can be had at the seasonal opening of the Earth Lodge Village along the shore of Lake Sakakawea near New Town today (Saturday).

“The kickoff event for the summer begins at noon at the village, located a mile east of the casino and a mile south.

“Kids need something to do so we have some fun on the run,” said Jason Morsette, with MHA Nation Tribal Tourism’s special projects. “There will be bounce houses and other activities for youngsters.”

Seeing the Earth Lodge Village would be a good day trip for any tourist, ones from North Dakota included.

Have you ever visited the Writing Rock State Historic Site in extreme northwest North Dakota, or Dinosaurs of the Prairie at Napoleon? There is so much history and culture to delve into and it is all in our backyard.

There is even horse racing in the state. People interested in that spectator sport should watch for announcements of upcoming races at Belcourt.

To say that the various tribes have expanded their tourism offerings would be an understatement. In addition to the Earth Lodge Village, the New Town area includes three marinas, a museum, a buffalo ranch, Four Bears Casino & Lodge with nationally known entertainers and the Missouri River’s only yacht excursions.

Having those attractions helps the entire state lure visitors. Anything that can pull motorists off the interstates like the Native American tourist destinations benefits Minot, Bismarck – all of the larger communities.

Let’s hope it’s a great summer for all of the hotels, campgrounds and tourist destinations including those on tribal lands. It’s time to get out and explore our own backyard.