- This article is about the Canadian province. Manitoba is also the former stage name of electronic musician Dan Snaith, who now goes by Caribou.
Manitoba is one of Canada's provinces and was the fifth province to join Canada (in 1870). Its population is 1,162,800 (Manitobans).
Its capital is Winnipeg. Other towns and cities include Brandon, Thompson, Dauphin, Neelin, Churchill, The Pas, Melita , Selkirk,Birtle, and Portage la Prairie.
Manitoba is located in the longitudinal centre of Canada, one of the Prairie Provinces. It borders on 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, and Churchill River.
The Manitoban 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.
Manitoba lies in the path of the Arctic Trough which funnels cold arctic air south during the fall and winter months. This, in conjunction with the relatively unprotected prairie landscape, makes southern Manitoba a harsh climates 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.
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.