Manitoba is the central province of Canada. It is located between Saskatchewan and Ontario. Manitoba is large, over 649,947 square miles and it has over 110, 000 lakes. It is twice the size of the United Kingdom. The population is 1.2 million and its capital city is Winnipeg.
The word ‘Manitoba’ comes from the Cree word “manito-wapow” which means “the strait of the spirit”. The word ‘manitou’ means ‘spirit’ and the word is meant to echo the sound of the Creator or spirit banging a drum which is echoed in waves crashing ashore on Manitoba’s many lakes.
First Nations Peoples of Manitoba
The earliest First Nations peoples living in Manitoba can be dated as far back as 10 000 – 13 000 BC.
The linguistic differentiations of Manitoba First Nations are: Algonquian (Cree and Ojibway-Cree), Siouan (Dakota) and Athapaskan (Chipewyan or Dene) and Michif (Métis).
In ancient times First Nations Peoples relied on the grasslands and the massive buffalo herds for food, clothing and tools. Tribes in the wooded areas ate berries, moose caribou and used the timber to make shelters. It is amazing they were able to live so well off the land using only what nature had available. They were completely self-sufficient.
They are deeply connected to Mother Nature or The Great Creator and this is evident in their lifestyle and in the art that they make.
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History of Manitoba
Historians can trace inhabitants in Manitoba as far back as the 13,000 BC. The first inhabitants were nomadic hunters that moved north from the area that is now Montana. The large grassland area provided ample hunting and trade developed rapidly as communities were settled- around 500 BC. Early trade items included copper, flint, fur timber, pipestone, and glass.
The first Europeans came to Manitoba in 1612. By 1670 King Charles II granted a large part of the province as “the Governor &CO. of Adventurers of England Trading into Hudson’s Bay”. In 1811 the first agricultural center was established by Lord Selkirk. The founder of the province was Louis Riel who is also known as ‘the father of Manitoba”. He led the Red River Rebellion of 1869-1870 and was head of the provisional government. Louis Riel decided the terms by which Manitoba would join the rest of Canada. Louis Riel remains a controversial figure: an execution during the rebellion led him to live in exile in Montana. When he returned to Saskatchewan to represent the Métis in the House of Commons he was arrested and eventually he was tried and executed for High Treason. Manitoba’s land was bought by the Canadian government from the Hudson’s Bay Company and Manitoba finally joined Canada in 1912.
Manitoba is a business-oriented prairie province with and emerging high-technology industry. Manitoba is the most eastern of the three prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba). Its main natural resource is wheat, as it is an ideal province for farming. Enjoy the beaches and grass capped sand dunes of Manitoba, where you have over 100,000 lakes to choose from! There are many places to visit in Manitoba. Summers in this province are sunny and hot, whereas winters are bright but bitterly cold.
Don’t miss out on festivals such as Folklorama, and Festival du Voyageur, which celebrates Manitoba’s French-Canadian history. If you love to golf, there are over 120 public and private golf courses to choose from including the Miniota Golf Course and Camp Site, the Sandhills Golf and Country Club, and the Restin Golf Course. Enjoy exhilarating adventure tours at Manitoba’s resorts including J.D’s Hunting and Fishing Lodge, or Jimmy Robinson’s Famous Sports Afield Duck Club. Relax at the end of the day in Manitoba’s capital city, Winnepeg, at the 5-star Fairmont Winnepeg, which is one of the top places to visit in Manitoba as well as stay.