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Interpretive Film At Grand Portage National Monument Includes Version In Ojibwemowin

An interpretive film created for Grand Portage National Monument is available in the traditional language of the Grand Portage people. NPS photo.


In what may be a first, an interpretive film created for Grand Portage National Monument in Minnesota is available in Ojibwemowin, the traditional language of the Grand Portage people.

"Gaa-Izhinagishkodaading Gichi-Onigamiing Dibaajimowin" is narrated by Maajiigwaneyaash (Mr. Gordan Jourdain), in its entirety, in an aboriginal language, according to the National Park Service.

The orientation film presented at the monument's Heritage Center was created by the Park Service in partnership with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

The film, Rendezvous with History: A Grand Portage Story, was produced by Great Divide Pictures of Denver, Colorado. Shown in high definition format on a BIG screen, the film features absolutely stunning footage of the scenic beauty within the Grand Portage Indian Reservation.

The film also features an original music soundtrack, composed by Peter Kater and is presented in 5.1 Surround Sound. Audiences might recognize the voice of the film's narrator, well-known Ojibwe actor, Adam Beach. Mr. Beach has starred in such feature films as Wind Talkers in 2002; Flags of Our Fathers in 2006, and most recently, he co-starred with Harrison Ford in Cowboys and Aliens last year.

Many Grand Portage community members also have prominent roles in the film.


The film's narrator gives voice to a contemporary Ojibwe man recalling his family's and his peoples' enduring culture, and brings to life a story of a time when the Grand Portage Ojibwe were one of the most powerful tribes on the Great Lakes and vital trading partners with the storied North West Company.

Ojibwe actress, Gloria Ranger, portrays the storyteller's great grandmother, Adaawaweikwe. During the fur trade era, hers was a position of power and influence. She used her skills as a guide and translator to advocate for her people. She and other Ojibwe women were influential in creating successful trading agreements between the Ojibwe and the North West Company.


A not-well-known park in my part of the country (Oklahoma), but we took the kids here in 2003 and found the Great Hall and exhibits very educational. Circling up through Old Fort William in Thunder Bay, Ontario, and back down to Voyageurs, even taking a ride in one of the big canoes there with costumed guides, opened our eyes to the rich voyageur heritage of that area. This film, mentioned above, sounds wonderful!

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