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Published: November 23rd 2018
NOVEMBER 17, 2018
Today is our second day in Winnipeg. We arrived yesterday evening after uneventful flights via Minneapolis. It was cold when we got here. A representative from Natural Habitat was at the airport to meet us. We have met s Dutch couple from California, an English couple from Warwick England, a mother and daughter from San Diego, and a couple from Tampa. Everyone seems nice and well traveled.
We are staying at the Fort Gary Hotel in Winnipeg. The was built in 1913 by the railroad as a part of their chain of hotels across Canada to stimulate travel. The Banff Hotel and Chateau Frontenac were two other hotels in this string. The Hotel is very nice and has obviously been updated. We had dinner in the hotel dining room. It was very good and it was accompanied by a jazz guitarist who was quite good.
Today we took a city tour. Our guide, Therese, was excellent. We started with a tour of the Manitoba museum. We had a very good presentation from Nancy, on the Inuit nation. We learned a great deal about their culture, their language, and the
areas of Canada which they are now living in. There is a whole area of Canada called Nunavut. The museum is really beautiful. The displays are well thought out and really demonstrative of the history of this area of Canada. Manitoba is a very large province that consists of large prairies, boreal forests and frozen tundra. The Canada shield passes through the middle of Manitoba. Yeh upper two thirds of Manitoba is dotted with thousands of lakes. The upper third of the province has a water table that is just under the top soil, so it is impossible to build roads except ice roads. The tv show that shows 18wheelers driving on ice roads is filmed in upper Manitoba.
After the museum we went for lunch at a French cafe. Yes French is spoken here but the aim language is English, German is the second language because of all the Mennonites that settled here. And Tagalog is the third most comm,on language because of the Philippine population.
After lunch we went to see the St. Boniface Cathedral. The original cathedral burned down. They were not able to afford to build another cathedral, so a
French architect designed a very clever substitute for a gigantic cathedral. The font of the building is quite impressive and reminiscent of the original. But behind this a plaza that leads to a very modest modern cathedral.
Onward then to a brand new Human Rights Museum which was surprisingly very good. The native peoples were not treated well as late as the 1960’s. Their children were taken from them and put into residential schools where they were frequently abused, malnourished and poorly educated. This was in an effort to assimilate them. In the early 2000’s the Canadian government admitted that this policy had been wrong and had caused the native people untold pain and suffering that had lasted for generations.
So it was a good day, but very cold about -17C.
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