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The Forks National Historic Site of Canada

Variety Heritage Adventure Park Map


The First Peoples

Fun Stuff to Try!

  • Discover the many uses for a single bison, the "grocery store on legs"
  • Create your own pattern on the traditional beadwork board
  • Sit in the shade of the tipi and share a story or two!

Did You Know?


In 1989, archaeologists digging at The Forks unearthed two 6,000-year-old campfire rings! These rings contained catfish bones and stone tool chips—evidence that Aboriginal people were already visiting The Forks before the great pyramids of Egypt were even built!

Tansi! Boozhoo! Aaniin! Wasta! (Now you can say “hello” in Cree, Anishinaabe, Ojibway-Cree, and Assiniboine!)

Several thousand years ago, people travelled across this landscape hunting large game, such as bison, deer, elk and moose. These people were the ancestors of today’s Aboriginal peoples.

As the climate became drier, people moved into the river valleys, including the area around The Forks, setting up seasonal camps where they could hunt, fish and gather nourishing and useful plants.

Starting around 3,000 years ago, The Forks was a seasonal trading centre and campsite. Archaeological digs show us that many different groups occupied The Forks at different times, and even at the same time. Discoveries from various time periods include a stone cutting tool from the south; arrow heads from the north and west; bone and copper harpoons from the east; pottery representing at least nine different groups; and human footprints—a rare archaeological find! In addition to being a hot spot for trade, The Forks was also a place of spiritual significance, as well as a place to share news, discuss politics, tell stories and celebrate—things people still do here today!


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Adventure Zones: The First Peoples | The Fur Trade | The Métis | The Settlers 
The Iron Horse | The French Quarter | The Metropolis