Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of 649,950 square kilometres (250,900 sq mi). The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other major industries are transportation, manufacturing, mining, forestry, energy, and tourism. The largest ethnic group in Manitoba is English Canadian, but there is a significant Franco-Manitoban minority and a growing aboriginal population.
Manitoba's capital and largest city, Winnipeg, is Canada's eighth-largest Census Metropolitan Area, and home to 60% of the population of the province. Winnipeg is the seat of government, home to the Legislative Assembly of Manitoba and the highest court in the jurisdiction, the Manitoba Court of Appeal.
The name Manitoba (meaning "strait of the spirit" or "lake of the prairies") is believed to be derived from the Cree, Ojibwe or Assiniboine language. Fur traders first arrived during the late 17th century. Manitoba became a province of Canada in 1870 after the Red River Rebellion.