- Associated Press - Friday, June 6, 2014

STANTON, N.D. (AP) - Hidatsa members of North Dakota’s Three Affiliated Tribes are marking the return of ancestral lands to the tribe.

Tribal elders Reba and Tillie Walker, who are sisters, bought the Knife River Ranch near Stanton and donated it to the tribe in honor of their late father, Hans Young Bird Walker Sr.

Young Bird was a member of the Low Cap Clan of Hidatsa.

Tribal members lived on the property until a smallpox epidemic destroyed the village in 1837.

Three Affiliated Tribes Chairman Tex Hall says the tribe plans to open a cultural interpretive center on the site in order to “further preserve the traditions and legacy of the Hidatsa people.”

A ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m. Friday.

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