Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow

The Grand Portage Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow is an event that celebrates the culture of the area’s Anishinaabe tribe and the historic fur trade that brought Europeans to the area in the late-1700s. The historic trade took place between the Ojibwe and French in the 1730s and the Ojibwe and British in the 1760s. During this time, traders made an 8.5-mile portage, named the Grand Portage, around the Pigeon River between Lake Superior and inland Ontario. The portage allowed them to access fur-rich areas and establish trading relationships.

The Festivities

Locals and visitors celebrate Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow with music, dancing, workshops and craft demonstrations. Re-enactors are on-site competing in games and demonstrating skills of the fur-trading era.

The traditional Pow Wow takes place in conjunction with the Rendezvous. The Pow Wow focuses on a song, dance, and family, as a celebration of the Anishinaabe heritage that is still present in the area today.

All are invited and families are highly encouraged to attend this event.  Rendezvous Days and Powow is celebrated annually on the second weekend of August. It is the largest and most grand celebration in Grand Portage. Definitely something you will want to experience, at least once! However, we imagine that if you come once, you will quickly add the celebration to your calendar every year.

The Grand Portage Rendezvous and Pow Wow is an event that celebrates the Anishinaabe culture and historic fur trade.

Grand Portage Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow Details

The schedule of events changes a bit year to year, but Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow traditionally kicks off on the second Friday of August. In the morning, the Grand Portage Hand Drum and Stone Bridge Singers kick things off.  Live music, kid-friendly activities, and Monument tours happen amongst costumed visitors creating traditional Ojibwe crafts.  There’s also Bingo, softball tournaments, and a Walk/Run. Enjoy Native American foods,  and crafts from vendors.

The Grand Portage Pow Wow is a drug- and alcohol-free event.

Getting There

Most of the Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow festivities happen at the Grand Portage National Monument. The Pow Wow taking place nearby at the Pow Wow grounds.

To get there, take Highway 61 to the Grand Portage Reservation and turn right (lakeside) at the Grand Portage Trading Post. Take the next left at Mile Creek Road. Continue for about 0.7 miles until you arrive at the Grand Portage Monument Heritage Center. Limited parking is available at the Heritage Center. Additional parking further down the road just north of the Grand Portage National Monument. 

Exploring the North Shore Podcast visited the Grand Portage National Monument and learned more about the historic fur trade during the “A Day in Grand Portage” episode. Listen now:

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