The capital city of Manitoba, Winnipeg accounts for two thirds of the population of the province. Situated at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, the city lies 60 miles north of the US border.
The name Winnipeg derives from the Cree Indian words ‘win-nipuy’ meaning muddy water.
The city grew from a series of trading posts built on the site from the 1730s.
The first post, Fort-Rouge, was established in 1738 by the French voyageur Sieur de la Vérendrye. This was followed by Fort Gibraltar, built by the North West Company in 1804, and Fort Garry, built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1821.
While the fur trade was developing, a Hudson’s Bay Company stockholder, Lord Selkirk, secured a large area of land which was named ‘Assiniboia’. Selkirk encouraged many of his own impoverished Scottish crofters to settle on his lands, an action which caused resentment among local traders, Métis, descendants of French-speaking fur traders and their Native wives.