Red River Land: Building the Garrison Dam: Part 1 of 2

Red River Land is a series of programs about North Dakota developed in the 1960s for educational purposes by educator, historian and writer Erling Rolfsrud, in conjunction with Prairie Public Television, as it was known then. The series included topics such as the history of local Native American tribes, the history of area buildings, social life, and infrastructure.

This video clip discusses the Pick-Sloan Plan for dams on the Missouri River, including the Garrison Dam, and the desire to control spring run-off and water release during the summer.


The Story of Red River Land courtesy Prairie Public Broadcasting and Erling Rolfsrud.

Grade Level

2 - 12

Subject Matter

Social Studies, Science

Related Media

  1. Through the Lens:Construction of the Garrison Dam
    Video: Footage of the building of Garrison Dam, one of the largest construction projects to ever be completed in North Dakota.
  2. Red River Land: Building the Garrison Dam: Part 2 of 2
    Video: A 1960s educational film about the reasons for constructing the Garrison Dam.
  3. Dakota Datebook: Garrison Diversion
    Audio: A brief history of the plans to dam the Missouri River in North Dakota.
  4. Dakota Datebook: Name Change
    Audio: The history of how the Garrison Reservoir became known as Lake Sakakawea.
  5. Dakota Datebook: Mrs. Byron Wilde
    Audio: Anna Wilde was a Native American activist who wanted a "square deal" for the tribes being relocated when the Garrison Dam was built.
  6. Dakota Datebook: The Two Sanishes
    Audio: When the Garrison Dam was built the people of Sanish, a town in the flood plain, decided to form New Sanish.
  7. More Precious Than Gold: Garrison Dam
    Video: Some see the Garrison Dam project as a great success, some see it as a great failure.
  8. More Precious Than Gold: Garrison Diversion
    Video: The diversion at the Garrison Dam was supposed to provide irrigation for agriculture.
  9. Prairie Pulse: The Promise of Water
    Video: A look at landscape photographer Wayne Gudmundson's book on the Garrison Diversion Project titled, "The Promise of Water"