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(In Detail) (In Detail)
Motto: Gloriosus et Liber (Glorious and free)
Largest CityWinnipeg

 - Total
 - % fresh water
8th largest
(6th lgst prov.)

647 797 km²
 - Total (2001)
 - Density
Ranked 5th
1 150 000
Admittance into
 - Date
 - Order
Split off
from NWT

12 May 1870
Time zone UTC -6
Postal information
Postal abbreviation
Postal code prefix
ISO 3166-2CA-MB

 House seats
 Senate seats

PremierGary Doer (NDP)
Lieutenant-GovernorPeter M. Liba
Government of Manitoba

Manitoba is one of Canada's provinces and was the fifth province to join Canada (in 1870). Its population is 1 150 000 (Manitobans).

Its capital is Winnipeg. Other towns and cities include Brandon,Thompson, Gilbert Plains, Neelin, Churchill, The Pas, and Portage la Prairie. See also a List of communities in Manitoba.


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 was settled by members of the Ojibwa and Assiniboine tribes. The first European to reach present-day Manitoba was 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. A battle 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 - 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