Manitoba is one of Canada's three Prairie Provinces. It is bordered by Saskatchewan to the west, Ontario to the east, Nunavut to the north. The north-eastern boundary is formed largely by Hudson Bay, while in the south its neighbours are the American states of Minnesota and North Dakota. The capital city is Winnipeg, where more than half the population of the province live.
Manitoba has over 110,000 lakes and because of its topography also very continental climate. The economy of Manitoba is based primarily on agriculture, which is most concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province. Other important industries are transportation, manufacturing, energy, mining, forestry and tourism.
The name of Manitoba is derived from the languages of Cree, Ojibway and Assiniboine. Fur trappers arrived here for the first time during the last quarter of the 17th century. Manitoba became a province of Canada in 1870 after Red River Rebellion. There was a general strike in Winnipeg in 1919. Later, the province was severely affected by the global economic crisis. This led to the creation of a political movement that has become the New Democratic Party of Manitoba, one of the main political forces in the province.
The current state flag became the official symbol of the province in 1966. It has a red background with the provincial coat of arms and the British flag in the upper-left corner.
The province boasts many national parks, including Riding Mountain National Park and Wapusk National Park.