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Culture and History

Fort Smith has a long, rich history that has created a diverse and fascinating local culture. Festivals, artistic workshops, and every day life celebrate and connect the different cultures that call the Thebacha region home, such as the Fort Smith Metis, Francophone, Salt River First Nation and Smith’s Landing First Nation.

Make a point of stopping by on June 21, National Aboriginal Day, to take in Dene handgames, meet Aboriginal artists, and try your hand at cooking bannock over a fire.  You can also step back in time and immerse yourself in the history of the South Slave at the Northern Life Museum & Cultural Centre. Come and get a taste of Francophone tradition at the Francohone Association’s sugar shack, run during the Wood Buffalo Frolics festival in March, by drizzling maple syrup in snow and rolling it onto a stick as it hardens into one of the sweetest treats Mother Nature has to offer. For more information on local festivals and events, watch the Community Calendar and take a look at Fort Smith’s annual events

Festivals frequently showcase the art of Fort Smith’s talented sculptors, photographers, craftspeople, authors, and musicians. You can also find their work at local businesses year-round and artists often welcome visitors to their home studios to shop for authentic Northern souvenirs. You can even connect with local artists from home at the NWT Arts website.