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This article is about the Canadian province. Manitoba is also the former stage name of electronic musician Dan Snaith, who now goes by Caribou.
(Flag of Manitoba) (Coat of Arms of Manitoba)
Motto: Gloriosus et Liber (Glorious and free)
Other Canadian provinces and territories
Capital Winnipeg
Largest city Winnipeg
Lieutenant Governor John Harvard
Premier Gary Doer (NDP)
Area 647,797 km² (8th)
 - Land 553,556 km²
 - Water 64,241 km² (14.5%)
Population (2004)
 - Population 1,165,944 (5th)
 - Density 1.80 /km² (8th)
Admittance into Confederation
 - Date July 15, 1870
 - Order 5th
Time zoneUTC-6
Parliamentary representation
 - House seats 14
 - Senate seats 6
 - Postal MB
 - ISO 3166–2 CA-MB
Postal Code PrefixR
Web site

Manitoba is one of Canada's provinces and was the fifth province to join Canada (in 1870). Its population as of January 1, 2004 was 1,165,944(Manitobans). It is the easternmost of the three Prairie Provinces.

Its capital is Winnipeg. Other towns and cities include Brandon, Thompson, Dauphin, Neelin, Churchill, The Pas, Melita, Selkirk,Birtle, and Portage la Prairie.

Table of contents


Manitoba is located in the longitudinal centre of Canada, though it is considered part of Western Canada. It borders Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north, and the American states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.

The province has a coast with Hudson Bay, and contains the very large Lakes Winnipeg, Manitoba (its namesake), and Winnipegosis. Important watercourses include the Red River, Assiniboine River, Nelson River, Hayes River and Churchill River.

The Manitoba climate is severe, though the southern latitudes support extensive agriculture. The northern reaches of the province range through coniferous forests, muskeg, and up to tundra in the far north. There is approximately 24,000 square miles of untouched boreal forest on the eastern side of Lake Winnipeg, renowned by naturalists and sportsmen for its pristine wilderness.

Manitoba lies in the path of the Arctic Trough which funnels cold arctic air south during the winter months. This, in conjunction with the relatively unprotected prairie landscape, makes southern Manitoba a harsh climate in which to live during the icy cold, wind swept months from November through March. This has resulted in the capital of the province being nicknamed "Winterpeg".


Manitoba was settled by members of the Ojibwa and Assiniboine tribes. The first European to reach present-day Manitoba was Sir Thomas Button, who visited the Nelson River in 1612. Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de la Vérendrye visited the Red River Valley in the 1730s as part of opening the area for French exploration and exploitation. An important French-Canadian population (Franco-Manitobains) still lives in Manitoba, especially in the Saint-Boniface district of Winnipeg.

The territory was won by Britain in 1763 as part of the French and Indian War and became part of Rupert's Land, the immense monopoly territory of the Hudson's Bay Company.

Manitoba Legislature

The founding of the first agricultural community in 1811 by Lord Selkirk, near modern Winnipeg, resulted in conflict between the white colonists and the Métis who lived near there. The Battle of Seven Oaks in 1816 saw 20 colonists killed by the Métis, including the governor.

When Rupert's Land was ceded to Canada in 1869 (it would become the Northwest Territories), a lack of attention to Métis concerns would lead their leader Louis Riel to establish a provisional government. Negotiations between this government and the Canadian government resulted in the creation of the province of Manitoba and its entry into Confederation in 1870.

Originally the province was only 1/18 of its current size and square in shape – it was known as the "postage stamp province." It grew progressively, absorbing land from the Northwest Territories until it attained its current size by reaching 60°N in 1912.


See also

  Manitoba Communities

Manitoba Cities: Brandon | Dauphin | Flin Flon | Portage la Prairie | Selkirk | Steinbach | Thompson | Winkler | Winnipeg

Manitoba Regions: Winnipeg Capital Region | Central Plains | Eastman | Interlake | Northern | Parkland | Pembina Valley | Westman

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