Another new experience for us was visiting the recently completed Grand Portage Heritage Center. In addition to replacing the outdated welcome center and ranger station offices, the new facility offers a number of educational exhibits, including a bookstore, museum, interactive displays, collections of artifacts, art, and photographs from the trading era and the famed eight and half mile portage trail that gave the village and stockade its name.
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The Traditional Grand Portage Pow-Wow
Two young maidens on their way to the Pow-Wow Arena. I'll bet they were entries in the Junior Princess contest held later in the afternoon. > > >
< < < One of many couples participating in the "All Nations" drum-dance.
< < < A group from one Chippewa Band assembles for ceremony prior to the start of another drum-singing-dance performance. Some drum dances were for and performed by members of certain bands while others were "All Nations." Watching the performances reminded me somewhat of being at a Barn Dance where the caller would call out the dance and who would be dancing.
The Indian Taco stand was quite popular. Always a line every time we walked by. > > >
The Grand Portage Heritage Center
The welcome desk in the lobby of the new Heritage Center offers brochures, maps, guides and helpful service by the National Park Service staff. > > >
< < < The museum exhibits has a number of interactive displays. The mannequin shown here is one of the "pork eaters" who lugged 90 lb packs over the 8 1/2 mile portage.
< < < A replica of the birch bark transport canoes used by the Northmen. In the warehouse and stockade grounds are several more genuine birch bark canoes.
The Heritage Center also houses a classroom with video presentations running on a posted schedule, an archives room, a bookstore-gift shop, and park offices.
This map shows the paddle and portage trading routes followed by North Men and the Montreal Men. > > >