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Photo Credit: Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville, IL)

Native American Sites on the Great River Road

From Native American heritage sites to the artistry of today, there is a lot to see and learn.  The Mississippi River received its name from the Ojibwe, “Misi-ziibi” meaning great river. These waters have been central to the people living on its shores for thousands of years.

~Minnesota~

Two Rivers Gallery (Minneapolis, MN)

The Two Rivers Gallery for emerging Native artists and the Woodland Crafts Gift Shop has items made by local artists.  “The urban heart of the native community in Minneapolis”.

Leech Lake (Cass Lake, MN)

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe hold pow wows May through September.  Check out their calendar for dates. See native dancers and drum groups from the upper Midwest, the Great Plains and Canada.

 ~Wisconsin~

Mississippi Valley Archeological Society (La Crosse, WI)

An active Archaeological lab, so call ahead.  If everyone is out on a dig, the lab will be closed.  An opportunity to see important finds from recent digs.

Little Bluff Trail (Trempealeau, WI)

Follow the trail up Little Bluff to three temple mounds from a 1,000 year old Mississippian settlement.  Nearby Perrot State Park is home to many burial mounds as well.

~Iowa~

Effigy Mounds National Monument (Harpers Ferry, IA)

A sacred site with over 200 mounds.  Take a guided tour, offered in the summer months, and learn about the people who built the animal shaped (effigy) mounds.

Toolesboro Mounds National Historic Landmark (Wapello, IA)

Some of the best-preserved and accessible burial mounds in Iowa, from the Hopewell culture 200 B.C. to 300 A.D.  Museum is opened seasonally, but the grounds are open year round.

 ~Illinois~

Cahokia Mounds (Collinsville, IL)

The 100 ft high Monks Mound is the largest earthwork in North America.  Both self-guided and guided tours available. Inside you will find a museum, shop, and an orientation show theater.

John Hauberg Indian Museum (Rock Island, IL)

Replicas of Sauk winter and summer houses, along with dioramas depicting activities of the Sauk and Meskwaki people.   Located in the Black Hawk State Historic Site.

 ~Missouri~

Mastodon State Historic Site (Imperial, MO)

This archaeological and paleontological site offered scientists the first evidence of humans and American mastodon coexisting in North America.

Illiniwek Village State Historic Site (Des Moines Township, MO)

A short walking trail takes you through the site of a village that once contained 8,000 people in the 1600’s.

~Kentucky~

Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site (Henderson, KY)

A prehistoric, Mississippian culture archaeological site with a museum with exhibits from an excavation in the 30’s.

~Tennessee~

Prehistoric Chucalissa Archaeological Site (Memphis, TN)

A replica house of what the Native American’s lived in over 1,000 years ago.  A museum gift store with unique items, many made by Native American artisans.

Shiloh Indian Mounds (Savannah, TN)

800 years ago the culture here built seven earthen mounds and dozens of houses.

~ARKANSAS~

Parkin Archeological State Park (Parkin, AR)

A visitor center with archeological artifacts and an interpretive exhibits.  Take a walk along the village trail to imagine what life was like hundreds of years ago.

Arkansas Post (Arkansas Township, AR)

View the park movie and peruse the museum of over 300 years of history of the area.  The area was first settled by Native Americans over 1,000 years ago.

~Mississippi~

Grand Village of the Natchez (Natchez, MS)

Three prehistoric Native American mounds and a reconstructed Natchez indian house, the Grand Village plays host to an annual pow wow.

Winterville Mounds (Greenville, MS)

One of the ten tallest mounds in the United States is located here.  Likely a ceremonial location, no evidence of homes have ever been found.

~Louisiana~

Poverty Point World Heritage Site (Pioneer, LA)

People lived here 3,000 years ago and today you can take a guided tour, view the museum, or walk the 2.6 mile hiking trail.

Tunica Biloxi Indian Center & Museum Complex (Marksville, LA)

A museum exhibit hall, conservation and restoration laboratory, gift shop, library, auditorium and more.