A historical geography of the Interlake Area of Manitoba

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Richtik, James Morton,
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The Interlake area of Manitoba contains a great variety of physical and cultural phenomena of interest to historical geographers. The area was occupied only gradually, with most white settlement taking place between 1872 and 1920. During this period, settlers from almost every country in Europe (and some from elsewhere) entered the Interlake and soon far outnumbered the Metis and Indians already there. Though there was much mixing of ethnic groups, there were also a number of distinct ethnic settlements. Settlement took place in a great variety of natural environments. Soils ranged from deep, fertile, stone-free lacustrine soils to extremely thin, high-lime soils with bedrock less than six inches from the surface. The natural vegetation ranged from prairie grassland through scattered aspen groves to heavy spruce forests interspersed with tamarack and sedge swamps. The presence of lakes and rivers added another element of variety to the physical environment. With such a varied physical and cultural background, it is not surprising that there was also much variety in the type and intensity of economic activities and in the growth of transportation systems and service centers. The Interlake contained many examples of pioneer development that were illustrative of such development in the Canadian West as a whole.