Standing Rock Institute of Natural History

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is working with the Science Museum of Minnesota to plan, develop, design, fabricate, and install exhibits intended to transform the old library of Sitting Bull College, in Fort Yates, ND, into an Institute of Natural History—with a focus on paleontology. Native Americans observed, collected, and attempted to explain the remains of ancient organisms long before contact with Europeans, and their cultural connection with fossils continues today. Standing Rock was the first tribe in the US to create a paleontology code and program, which includes a summer field school. Since 2007, the team at Standing Rock has amassed a collection of more than 10,000 fossils, including TyrannosaurusTriceratopsEdmontosaurusPachycephalosaurus, and Ankylosaurus as well as crocodiles and alligators, turtles, birds, mammals, fish, salamanders, and plant material. The Institute of Natural History (which opened June 2016) will display a selection of these fossils in an engaging, dynamic exhibit space with scientifically, historically, and culturally relevant interpretation.