Grand Portage National Monument, Grand Portage

#17 of 173 in Museums in Minnesota
Grand Portage National Monument commemorates the cross cultural interaction and exchange among Ojibwe people and early Europeans that influenced the 18th-century exploration of the northwest and the expansion of the Great Lakes fur trade industry. The National Park Service works collaboratively with the Grand Portage Band of the Lake Superior Chippewa to interpret and support the heritage and lifeways of the Ojibwe people and to preserve the premier sites, route, and unique historic values of the Grand Portage trail.

As early as 2,000 years ago, indigenous groups used Gitchi Onigamiing “the Great Carrying Place” (Grand Portage) to travel from seasonal homes around Lake Superior to regions of better hunting, fishing, and trapping in the protected interior forests.

Opened in 1951 as Grand Portage National Historic Site, designated a National Monument in 1958, its nearly 710 acres lie entirely within the boundaries of reservation of the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. The Historic site consists of three reconstructed North West Company buildings on their original locations and an Ojibwe Village exhibit. The Historic site is open seasonally from Memorial Day in May to Indigenous Peoples' Day in October.

The Heritage Center offers interactive exhibits, educational videos, artifacts, and a gift shop. The Heritage Center is open year round.
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Grand Portage National Monument Reviews
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  • Grand Portage National Monument tells the story of the Northwest Company's fur trade in Minnesota and Ontario prior to the Revolutionary War and how the Ojibwa (also known as Chippewa) were partners. ...  more »
  • We hadn't been to the "new" center yet. It is amazing! Very well done, the video is so very interesting. The displays, the "fort", the people working at the monument were all so informative/smart. We ...  more »
  • Such a beautiful place! This is a trip we take every year. We spend the weekend at the powwow and we always visit this monument. The people here immerse you in history so that it comes alive. The people who are involved in this all dress in colonial attire. All the tents and the tools they use are all historically correct. This whole monument is built of wood! The kitchen and dinning hall is amazing! The table and chairs were hand made. They also have other areas that show how other things such as canoes were made. The blacksmith is amazing to watch. The gargen area is beautiful. This is a must see place!!
  • Must see! This visitor center was amazing, fun and educational! Both indoor and outdoor viewing opportunities and both are recommended. Start with the video! Awesome Junior Ranger patch upon completion of their packet. Bring a coat and stable shoes for the outside portion. Plan on 2+ hours!

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