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Grand Portage National Monument

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring Sioux Nation Forts

Picture at Grand Portage Monument

Grand Portage National Monument was established to commemorate and preserve a premier site and route of the 18th century fur trade that led to pioneering international commerce and exploration in North America, as well as cultural contact between Ojibwe and other Native societies and the North West Company partners, clerks and canoe-men. The monument was also established to work with the Grand Portage Band of Minnesota Chippewa in preserving and interpreting the heritage and lifeways of the Ojibwe people.

Grand Portage National Monument is of international and regional significance because it was the central hub of a once flourishing fur trade. Here the bold economic strategy and exploration by the North West Company voyageurs and traders opened up a transcontinental trade route. Grand Portage was and remains a meeting ground of diverse cultures. The site is home ground for contemporary Grand Portage Ojibwe.

Grand Portage National Monument contains the archeological remains of several fur trading posts instrumental in the exploration of the West and the economic history of the United States and Canada.

The national monument contains the entire length of the portage that marked the entrance into the interior of western Canada.

Grand Portage National Monument contains a reconstructed stockade, a great hall, a kitchen and a warehouse.

It is home place of tribal and family history and cultural persistence.

Getting There

Plane - Minneapolis-Saint Paul International airport is a major U.S. hub for passengers flying to the Midwest. Connecting flights can be accessed from Minneapolis to Duluth, Minnesota or Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. To reach Grand Portage, Minnesota, private ground transportation is recommmended either by private or rental vehicle.

Car - The monument is located in northeastern Minnesota. Tip of the Arrowhead within Grand Portage Indian Reservation Cook County, Minnesota. Grand Portage National Monument is about 150 miles northeast of Duluth, Minnesota and 50 miles southwest of Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada along the beautiful north shore of Lake Superior. The historic site is ½ to 1 mile south of the west and east exits from Minnesota State Highway 61 in the village of Grand Portage.

The monument address is: P.O. Box 426, 211 Mile Creek Road, Grand Portage, Minnesota 55605

Bus - Bus transportation is available from the cities of Duluth, Minnesota and Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada. For further information about bus schedules please contact Grand Portage Lodge and Casino at 218-475-2401.

Activities

Educational
Camping
Fishing
Hiking
Museums
Visitor Center
Winter Sports
WildlifeViewing

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Further reading