Winnipeg is the capital and largest city in Manitoba, and a major centre on the Canadian Prairies. About 700,000 people live in the city proper, with about 825,000 in the entire census metropolitan area. "The Peg" is a city as diverse in and of itself as the whole of Canada.
Winnipeg lies at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, a location currently known as "The Forks". This point was at the crossroads of canoe routes travelled by Aboriginal peoples prior to European contact. The name Winnipeg is a transcription of the western Cree word wi-nipe-k meaning "muddy waters"; the general area was populated for thousands of years by First Nations. Winnipeg started out as a fur trading post located at the confluence of the Red and Assiniboine rivers, and was a crossroads for many early settlers. Many trails converged on the city and later became streets (which is evident when you see the city's somewhat haphazard road layout). In 1869–70, Winnipeg was the site of the Red River Rebellion, a conflict between the local provisional government of Métis, led by Louis Riel, and newcomers from eastern Canada. This rebellion led to Manitoba's entry into the Canadian Confederation as Canada's fifth province in 1870. On November 8, 1873, Winnipeg was incorporated as a city.