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The city is the seat of Thunder Bay District. The City of Thunder Bay has a population of 107,909 (2016), and a CMA population of 121,621 (2016). The land upon which the modern-day city is built is the traditional territory of several First Nations peoples including Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi. They traded in fur with French merchants but as settlement grew most trading was done with British companies. After the American Revolution War broke out between Britain and France; Britain had an interest in developing this area for settlement by United Empire Loyalists who may have been discouraged from settling directly on American soil because they were viewed as having fought against their country during that war. During construction at Fort William (now part of Thunder Bay) many settlers took up residence nearby: "Natives kept close to garrison...to exploit trade.