Anishnawbe Keeshigun pays homage to all First Nation peoples


Fort William Historical ParkFORT WILLIAM HISTORICAL PARK – THUNDER BAY – Native culture takes centre stage as Fort William Historical Park celebrates Anishnawbe Keeshigun, beginning Friday evening, August 19th and running to Sunday, August 21st.

Anishnawbe Keeshigun pays homage to all First Nation peoples and their collective contribution to the fur trade and the evolution of Canada. Traditional singing, drumming and dancing highlight the festival along with craft demonstrations and samples of Aboriginal foods including Bakwezhigan (bannock), strawberry drink, wild rice, smoked fish as well as corn on the cob available at select times while quantities last.

A new component for the festival happens Friday evening with the presentation of a one-act play featuring Fort staff entitled, “Toronto at Dreamer’s Rock”, by Drew Hayden Taylor at 6:30 pm followed by a musical performance by Arvel Bird on the fiddle and flute at 9 pm, both happening in the Main Square.

Daily weekend highlights include a canoe arrival of the Native hunters at 12:45 p.m. and the ceremonial gift exchange at the Wharf. The Grand Entry and Pow-wow happens in the Main Square beginning at 1 p.m. with host drum, Thunder Bay Mountain Singers.

Visitors can roll up their sleeves and get involved in the bannock competition happening at 2:00 p.m. in the Main Square. Visitors can also get involved in other competitions including baggataway, an accuracy challenge with a leather ball, at 1:30 pm in the Agret Yard and the spear hunting challenge at 3:30 pm also at the Agret Yard. Children can participate in a variety of crafts and games going on throughout the weekend.

Central to the theme of the day is how the collective involvement of the First Nations peoples, French Canadian voyageurs and artisans and Scottish fur traders combined to make the North West Company one of the dominant forces in the North American fur trade.

Admission to Anishnawbe Keeshigun is free. For more information, please call 807-473-2344 or visit the website at The Fort is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Everyone is invited to enjoy Anishnawbe Keeshigun at Fort William Historical Park, Friday evening 6 to 10 pm, August 19th to Sunday, August 22nd.

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