FW Historic Site

Welcome to Fort William Historical Park!

Fort William Historical Park is open for historic site guided tours, camping, events, and weddings and conferences! Call (807) 473-2344 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.

A note to our visitors:

Our new entrance via Broadway Avenue is open to access the Park! The King Road entrance is now closed.


National Day for Truth and Reconciliation Banner

September 30: National Day for Truth & Reconciliation and Orange Shirt Day

September 30, 2022, marks the second annual National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. The National Day for Truth and Reconciliation was established as part of the 94 calls to action identified by the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.

“We call upon the federal government, in collaboration with Aboriginal peoples, to establish, as a statutory holiday, a National Day for Truth and Reconciliation to honour Survivors, their families, and communities, and ensure that public commemoration of the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of the reconciliation process.”
- Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (2015)

For the past number of years, September 30th has been acknowledged by many communities across Canada as Orange Shirt Day to bring attention to the effects of residential schools and their legacy for Indigenous Peoples.

Fort William Historical Park recognizes the impact residential schools has on Indigenous Peoples across Canada, including the survivors, their families, and communities, as well as their traditions, heritage, and cultures. At Fort William Historical Park, Indigenous knowledge, traditions, languages, history, skills, and technologies are vital components to the experience shared with visitors, students, and employees. We hope that through our education programs and visitor experiences, we can help others realize the importance of truth and reconciliation.

Below is a short list of websites that may help guide you on your path of truth and reconciliation:

Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada
The Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established in 2007 part of the Indian Residential School Settlement Agreement, the largest class-action settlement in Canadian history. The TRC was established to facilitate reconciliation among former students, their families, their communities, and all Canadians. From 2007-2015, worked to create a historical record about the residential school system. In 2015, the TRC presented a 6-volume final report which included 94 calls to action to further reconciliation between Canadians and Indigenous Peoples.

National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation - Truth & Reconciliation Week
Truth & Reconciliation Week is an online 5-day national event open to all Canadian schools that will take place September 26-30, 2022. Presented virtually by the National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation that will cover topics including the truths of Indigenous treaties, First Nation, Métis and Inuit land claims and the residential school system. Created by Indigenous storytellers, these videos will show traditional ceremonies and artistic performances, alongside conversations with Elders and knowledge keepers, Survivors, and children of Survivors of residential schools.

Orange Shirt Day
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. Orange Shirt Day is named after the experience of former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad, who had her new orange shirt taken away from her on her first day at residential school when she was six years old. The date, September 30th, was chosen because that was when Indigenous children were taken from their homes each year to attend residential schools.

Historica Canada, Heritage Minutes: Chanie Wenjack
Heritage Minutes are a collection of 60-second short films, each depicting a significant person, event, or story in Canadian history. The Chanie “Charlie” Wenjack Heritage Minute briefly speaks about the residential school system. It was Chanie Wenjak’s death that sparked the first inquest into the treatment of Indigenous children in Canadian residential schools.

National Centre for Truth & Reconciliation - Residential School Timeline
This timeline provides a brief history of residential schools, beginning in 1831 with the first residential school in Canada, the Mohawk Institute Residential School, and ends in 2015 with the closing ceremonies of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission. There are many other resources available on this website.

Interactive Map of Residential Schools, CBC Canada
This interactive map allows you to see the locations of residential schools across Canada. You can search by year and specific address to show you where the closest residential school was located.

Indigenous Foundations
Developed by the First Nations Studies Program at the University of British Columbia, this website provides a place to begin exploring topics that relate to Indigenous peoples, cultures, and histories.

City of Thunder Bay – Orange Shirt Day and National Day for Truth & Reconciliation
Most of this years' events take place on Friday, September 30, but keep an eye on social media for events occurring all week and throughout the year. Follow us on the Indigenous Relations Facebook Page. On September 29, the Thunder Bay Public Library will be holding a moment of silence across each of its branches at 2:15 pm. A full calendar of events for September 30 is available on the website.

Support Services (Toll free and available 24-hours a day, 7-days a week):

Crisis Services Canada
1-833-456-4566
Crisis Services Canada provides suicide prevention and support to the people of Canada.

Hope for Wellness Help Line
1-855-242-3310
On-line Chat
The Hope for Wellness Help Line is available 24/7 to provide immediate counseling and crisis intervention services for Indigenous Peoples across Canada. Phone and on-line chat services are available in English and French. Upon request, phone services are also available in Cree, Ojibway and Inuktitut.

Indian Residential School Survivor Crisis Line
1-866-925-4419
The Indian Residential Schools Survivor Crisis Line is available for anyone experiencing pain or distress as a result of their Residential School experience.

Talk4Healing
1-855-554-4325 (HEAL)
Talk4Healing is a culturally grounded, fully confidential helpline for Indigenous women available in 14 languages all across Ontario.


Fort William Historical Park's 50th Anniversary 

Throughout 2023 we'll be hosting a variety of programs and activities for this landmark event. Stay tuned for more details.

Great Rendezvous Celebration • July 8-16, 2023

Enjoy a variety of exciting programs and activities that celebrate the people who helped build Fort William Historical Park and its fur trade history, culminating in a weekend re-enactment.

Great Rendezvous Historic Re-enactment • July 14-16, 2023

Historic re-enactment participant packages will be available fall 2022. 


About Fort William Historical Park

 

Fort William Historical Park features Fort William, one of the largest living history sites in North America. Travel back in time to the 1800s and experience history through the eyes of peoples past. Explore Fort William, the inland headquarters of the North West Company, the world’s largest fur trading enterprise. Alive with the hustle and bustle of an active fur trade post, you may encounter voyageurs loading out furs, farmers working in gardens, artisans building canoes, and more! Visit the nearby encampment learn about their traditional lifestyle, culture and heritage of the Anishinaabe, the region’s Indigenous people.

 

Fort William Historical Park also features night sky and solar viewing at the David Thompson Astronomical Observatory, a campground, canoe and kayak rentals, a variety of special events year-round, summer day camps, in-person and virtual education programs, and a variety of wedding and conference facilities.

 

We look forward to seeing you soon! 

 


Land Acknowledgement

Fort William Historical Park respectfully acknowledges that we are located on the traditional lands of Fort William First Nation, Anemki Wajiw (Thunderbird Mountain, also known as Mount McKay), located on the Western Shores of Gichigami (Lake Superior), signatory to the Robinson Superior Treaty of 1850. We also recognize the contributions of all First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples across Turtle Island (North America).


Canadian Signature Experience Logo Officially curated, the Canadian Signature Experiences are once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences. They are offered by Canadians who are passionate to share their part of the country with you.

#SafeTravels Stamp

 

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in conjunction with the industry, including the Tourism Industry Association of Ontario (TIAO), has created a self-certified Safe Travel Stamp based on worldwide industry protocols to allow travellers to recognise destinations around the world which have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers can experience 'Safe Travels’.