Manitoba (// ( listen)) is a province at the longitudinal centre of Canada. It is often considered one of the three prairie provinces (with Alberta and Saskatchewan) and Canada's fifth-most populous province with its estimated 1.3 million people. Manitoba covers 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi) with a widely varied landscape, stretching from the northern oceanic coastline to the southern border with the United States. The province is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and Northwest Territories to the northwest, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south.
Aboriginal peoples have inhabited what is now Manitoba for thousands of years. In the late 17th century, fur traders arrived in the area when it was part of Rupert's Land and owned by the Hudson's Bay Company. In 1869, negotiations for the creation of the province of Manitoba led to an armed uprising of the Métis people against the Government of Canada, a conflict known as the Red River Rebellion. The rebellion's resolution led to the Parliament of Canada passing the Manitoba Act in 1870 that created the province.
Manitoba's capital and largest city, Winnipeg, is the eighth-largest census metropolitan area in Canada. Other census agglomerations in the province are Brandon, Steinbach, Portage la Prairie, and Thompson.
The name Manitoba is believed to be derived from the Cree, Ojibwe or Assiniboine languages. The name derives from Cree manitou-wapow or Ojibwa manidoobaa, both meaning "straits of Manitou, the Great Spirit", a place referring to what are now called The Narrows in the centre of Lake Manitoba. It may also be from the Assiniboine for "Lake of the Prairie".
The lake was known to French explorers as Lac des Prairies. Thomas Spence chose the name to refer to a new republic he proposed for the area south of the lake. Métis leader Louis Riel also chose the name, and it was accepted in Ottawa under the Manitoba Act of 1870.
Manitoba is bordered by the provinces of Ontario to the east and Saskatchewan to the west, the territories of Nunavut to the north, and the US states of North Dakota and Minnesota to the south. The province possibly meets the Northwest Territories at the four corners quadripoint to the extreme northwest, though surveys have not been completed and laws are unclear about the exact location of the Nunavut–NWT boundary. Manitoba adjoins Hudson Bay to the northeast, and is the only prairie province to have a saltwater coastline. The Port of Churchill is Canada's only Arctic deep-water port. Lake Winnipeg is the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world. Hudson Bay is the world's second-largest bay. Manitoba is at the heart of the giant Hudson Bay watershed, once known as Rupert's Land. It was a vital area of the Hudson's Bay Company, with many rivers and lakes that provided excellent opportunities for the lucrative fur trade.
The province has a saltwater coastline bordering Hudson Bay and more than 110,000 lakes, covering approximately 15.6 percent or 101,593 square kilometres (39,225 sq mi) of its surface area. Manitoba's major lakes are Lake Manitoba, Lake Winnipegosis, and Lake Winnipeg, the tenth-largest freshwater lake in the world. Some traditional Native lands and boreal forest on Lake Winnipeg's east side are a proposed UNESCO World Heritage Site.