About North Dakota

North Dakota Statehood

Governor

United States Senator

United States Representative

One trip to North Dakota and you'll understand why it's known as the friendliest and safest state to visit. In fact, from agricultural products to quality of life, North Dakota is often at the top of the charts.

North Dakota Statehood

On March 2, 1861, President James Buchanan signed the bill creating the Dakota Territory, which originally included the area covered today by both Dakotas as well as Montana and Wyoming. Beginning in 1877, efforts were made to bring Dakota into the Union as both a single state and as two states. The latter was successful and on November 2, 1889, both North and South Dakota were admitted. President Benjamin Harrison went to great lengths to obscure the order in which the statehood proclamations were signed, so the exact order in which the two states entered is unknown. However, because of alphabetical position, North Dakota is often considered the 39th state. Dakota is derived from the Sioux Indian word for "friend."

Governor

Doug Burgum took office as the 33rd governor of North Dakota on December 15, 2016.  Doug brings a business leader’s approach to diversifying the economy, creating 21st century jobs, and revitalizing our main streetsClick here to learn more about Governor Doug Burgum. Born August 1, 1956, Burgum grew up in Arthur, N.D. Burgum has maintained his commitment and connection to his roots through family farm partnerships, by serving as a member for Arthur Companies, Inc., a diversified agribusiness company founded by his grandparents in 1906, and through a ranching partnership in the Badlands of western North Dakota.

Burgum graduated with a bachelor’s degree in university studies from North Dakota State University in 1978. He earned a master’s of business administration from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1980. He was elected governor on Nov. 8, 2016, in his first run for political office.

Burgum is married to Kathryn Helgaas Burgum and has two sons, Joe and Tom, and a daughter, Jesse.

United State Senator

On January 5, 2011, John Hoeven was sworn in as North Dakota's 22nd U.S. Senator after serving 10 years as Governor for the state of North Dakota. As Governor, Hoeven worked to build North Dakota's future by focusing on six pillars of growth: education, economic development, agriculture, energy, technology and quality of life. Under his leadership, North Dakota expanded and diversified its economy and gained almost 50,000 new jobs. Hoeven was born in Bismarck. He earned a bachelor's degree from Dartmouth College in 1979 and a master's degree in business administration from Northwestern University in 1981. From 1993-2000 he served as president and CEO of Bank of North Dakota (BND), which grew from $900 million to $1.6 billion. Click here to learn more about Senator John Hoeven.

United States Senator

Heidi Heitkamp grew up in a big family in the small town of Mantador, N.D. She earned a bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota and a law degree from Lewis and Clark School of Law. She served as Attorney General and was one of the chief negotiators in the national settlement with the tobacco companies. For the last 10 years, Heidi has worked as a director at the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant. Click here to learn more about Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

United States Representative

Kevin Cramer has a long and distinguished career in public service. In 1991, he was elected Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party. From 1993-2000, he served in Governor Ed Schafer's cabinet, first as State Tourism Director (1993-1997) then as State Economic Development & Finance Director (1997-2000). From 2000-2003, Cramer was Executive Director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation, which connects emerging leaders from the University of Mary with community business leaders. In 2003, then Governor John Hoeven appointed Cramer to the Public Service Commission, and in 2004 he was elected to the position. He was re-elected in 2010. Click here to learn more about Representative Kevin Cramer.