Red River 200 – Celebrating 200 Years of Farming Experience
This year, 2012, marks the 200th anniversary of the arrival of the Selkirk Settlers in Manitoba from Scotland in 1812 and the 200th anniversary of agriculture in Manitoba.
On 7 October 1812, near what is now the Disraeli Bridge in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Miles Macdonell, the Governor of Assiniboia, helped to plant the bushel and a half of wheat that he had brought from Scotland.
This event was the beginning of one of the most important movements in Canadian history and the establishment of the farming system of the Prairie Provinces, with the wealth and opportunities that it offered to hundreds of thousands of immigrants.
The Selkirk Settlers were the first individuals to establish permanent residence along the Red River in what has grown to become the City of Winnipeg.
Their arrival and settlement began the shift in western Canada from a hunter-gathering economy to a farming-based community as the settlers were able to cultivate the land and establish a home base. This made it possible for dense settlement by immigrants from eastern Canada and Europe.
In October 1987, a plaque was erected in Joseph Zuken Heritage Park by the Lord Selkirk Association of Rupertsland. It commemorates the earliest planting in the Selkirk Settlement, established by Thomas Douglas, Fifth Earl of Selkirk, on 7 October 1812.
Events and activities will take place throughout the year commemorating the dedication and perseverance by the Selkirk Settlers to cultivate the land and make this location their home.