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Despite the trail being flat, it's a longer portage and I have to take a quick break at the halfway point.
In 1958 the Grand Portage Band donated land inside its reservation, just seven miles from the Canadian border in the far northeastern tip of the state, to establish the site.
When the tribe donated the land, its members hoped that the new park unit, complete with a visitor center and museum, would revitalize the reservation's struggling economy and bring jobs to Grand Portage. But as the years passed, the promised jobs did not materialize, and neither did a visitor center.
But soon after Grand Portage was created, the federal government dramatically reversed its stance toward Indian tribal authority.
Portage La Biche is the link between the Churchill basin, which eventually drains into Hudson Bay, and the Athabasca-Mackenzie basin, which empties into the Arctic Ocean.
A first hand description of a journey over Portage La Biche was provided by Ross Cox in 1817 while travelling from the Pacific coast to Montreal.
Fidler left Cumberland House on August 5, (16) proceeded westward along the Beaver River, then travelled over Portage La Biche and arrived on the shores of Lac La Biche on September 26.
Second, when it comes time to carry the boat (as happens when the water doesn't flow where you want to go), make the portage in a single trip.
Ojibwa Indians occupied this country for hundreds of years, traversing these same lakes by birch-bark canoe, wearing down these same portage trails.
Pike's Portage: Stories of a Distinguished Place tells what we know of the aboriginal history of this key travel corridor and acts as a showcase for the more recent stories of those who followed these legendary trails leading from Great Slave Lake into the great unknown.
I particularly enjoyed the delightful chapter by John McInnes, recreational canoeist, who has travelled and unravelled the lesser-known rivers and portage routes west of Pike's Portage.
Pike's Portage is named for Warburton Pike, an English gentleman adventurer and hunter who crossed it in 1890 with aboriginal guides.