Wild Rice Processing: Threshing

A demonstration of how to thresh wild rice, September 1, 2021.

Interior of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center

Interior of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center

Ojibwe wigwam interactive display inside of the Grand Portage National Monument Heritage Center. The opening of the site’s Heritage Center in 2017 shifted the site’s offices from Grand Marais to Grand Portage and provided a larger space for more inclusive interpretation. Photograph by Flickr user Ken Lund, August 14, 2018. CC BY-SA 2.0

Grand Portage National Historic Site dedication

Grand Portage National Historic Site dedication

Ojibwe dancers and their audience at the 1951 ceremony dedicating the Grand Portage site as a National Historic Site. Photograph by Abbie Rowe.

Ed Wilson and Mike Flatt

Ed Wilson and Mike Flatt at the dedication of Grand Portage as a National Historic Site

Image from the 1951 ceremony dedicating Grand Portage as a National Historic Site. Ed Wilson, the chief of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe (MCT), is shown speaking at a podium in front of the reconstructed Great Hall. Mike Flatt, head of the Grand Portage Band of Chippewa, is seated at right. The Grand Portage Band is part of the MCT, which was created as a result of the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. The ceremony was attended by politicians, officials, and conservationists from Minnesota, the federal government, and Canada—some of whom are visible behind Wilson and Flatt. Photograph by Abbie Rowe.

Grand Portage excavation site

Grand Portage excavation site

The site of archaeological excavations at Grand Portage undertaken by Civilian Conservation Corps Indian Division (CCC-ID) workers, 1937. The excavations uncovered building foundations and stockade post holes that were used to reconstruct the Great Hall and stockade several years later.

Ojibwe man on Grand Portage trail

Ojibwe man on Grand Portage trail

An Ojibwe man (possibly Paul LaGarde) standing on the Grand Portage trail on July 10, 1922, during an expedition initiated by Minnesota Historical Society director Solon Buck. The man is identified as a guide who helped MNHS Field Secretary Cecil Shirk and Minneapolis journalist Paul Bliss retrace the trail, which was threatened by private landowners. Publicity from the expedition sparked interest amongst white Minnesotans in preserving the trail and depot sites.

Cecil W. Shirk and Paul LaGarde at the site of Fort Charlotte

Cecil W. Shirk and Paul LaGarde at the site of Fort Charlotte

Minnesota Historical Society Field Secretary Cecil W. Shirk and guide Paul LaGarde (Fond du Lac Ojibwe) stand on the foundations of a building at the site of Fort Charlotte, July 10, 1922. Fort Charlotte was the depot at the western end of the Grand Portage trail, on the south shore of the Pigeon River. Shirk (at right) stands in the remains of a cellar, and LaGarde (left) stands on foundation remains. The image is from a 1922 expedition initiated by MNHS director Solon Buck to retrace and recover the trail, which was threatened by private landowners. Publicity from the expedition sparked interest amongst white Minnesotans in preserving the trail and depot sites.

Grand Portage National Monument

The Grand Portage National Monument in far northeastern Minnesota was established in 1960, after the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) ceded nearly 710 acres of their land to the US government. A unit of the National Park Service (NPS), it consists of the eight-and-a-half-mile Grand Portage trail and two trading depot sites—one on the shoreline of Lake Superior and one inland, at Pigeon River. A partially reconstructed depot sits at the Lake Superior site.

Ojibwe families building canoes

Ojibwe families building canoes

Ojibwe families building canoes on Sandy Point in Shagawa Lake (outside present-day Ely), ca. 1900. In 1909, the site became part of the Superior National Forest. Public domain.

Bois Forte Ojibwe birch-bark sap bucket

Bois Forte Ojibwe birch-bark sap bucket

Birch-bark bucket used to collect sap from maple trees. Created by citizens of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, ca. 1880. The Bois Forte as well as the Grand Portage Chippewa (Ojibwe) reserve the right to hunt, fish, collect sap for maple sugar, and harvest wild rice in their traditional homelands inside the Superior National Forest.

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