Grand Rapids is geographically located at the mouth of the Saskatchewan River
where it enters Lake Winnipeg at its north eastern end. Grand Rapids was a base for many Metis free traders! or pedlars! from "anada during the mid 1#$$s through mid 1%$$s who intercepted &ndian fur traders on route to 'ort (ork. )he *+" had positioned a fort to the west at "edar Lake in 1%,#- however- to further counteract the activities of free traders!- the *+" relocated this post to Grand Rapids in 1%/. )he rapids were a gathering place for seasonal sturgeon fishing.
0 group of Metis at Grand Rapids- "ourtesy uck Lake &nterpretive "entre
'rom the late 1$$2s- &ndian! fur traders passed through Grand Rapids on3route to the *+"4s (ork 'actory depot on *udson4s +ay- although many were intercepted at "umberland *ouse and Grand Rapids by 5orth West "ompany. 0s early as 1#/1- the 'rench built 'ort +ourbon near Grand Rapids in order to intercept "ree and other north and western tribal trading partners of the *+" before they began their 6ourney to (ork 'actory.
Grand Rapids was the fur trade gateway to and from the northwest interior and
&n the 1##$s called Riviere de +ourbon- 7as8uayah or Sascatchiwaine River.