Grand Portage National Monument was established to commemorate and preserve a premier site and route of the 18th century fur trade that led to pioneering international commerce and exploration in North America as well as cultural contact between Ojibwe and other native societies and the North West Company partners, clerks and canoe-men. The Monument was also established to work with the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (Ojibwe) in preserving and interpreting the heritage and lifeways of the Ojibwe people.
Grand Portage National Monument is of international and regional significance because it was the central hub of a once flourishing fur trade and here the bold economic strategy and exploration by the North West Company voyageurs and traders opened up a transcontinental trade route. Grand Portage was and remains a meeting ground of diverse cultures. The site is home ground for contemporary Grand Portage Ojibwe.