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The University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and on the homeland of the Métis Nation. More

Landmarks, Monuments & Built Heritage of the West: Grade 1



Welcome First Graders.  On this website you will learn all about familiar places and landmarks in Winnipeg and Manitoba.

Do you know what a landmark is?  A landmark is a thing like a statue, a park, a building, or a river, that is important to people for some reason.  Maybe that thing is important to Manitoba's history.  Maybe that thing helps you figure out where you are if you're lost.  Whatever the reason though a landmark is important to lots of Manitobans.

Below is a list of landmarks that are important to the Aboriginal and francophone communities in Manitoba.  Click on the name of each landmark to see what the landmark looks like and why it is important to the Aboriginal or francophone communities.  Then click on the map of Manitoba to see where the landmark is located and answer the questions about the landmark's location.

Aboriginal and Francophone Landmarks

Landmarks are very important to a lot of people for a variety of reasons.  When a landmark is damaged or destroyed the community usually feels a great loss.  For instance, when the St. Mary's Church near Mountain Road, Manitoba caught fire and burned to the ground, everyone involved with the church felt as though their community would never be the same.

Click here to see a video of the St. Mary's Church on fire and listen to two Mountain Road residents discuss the effects the church had on their community.

La Vérendrye Monument


This monument honours Pierre Gaultier de La Vérendrye and his sons.  They are believed to be the first European explorers to sail through the Great Lakes and land at the forks of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers.  In 1738, they established what is believed to be the first European building on the site of what is now Winnipeg.  They named this settlement Fort Rouge.  This monument is located on Taché Avenue across from the St. Boniface Hospital.

Click here to find the La Vérendrye Monument on a map of Manitoba. 

The La Vérendrye Monument is located inside a park.  What is the name of the park?  Is it close to a hospital?  Is it near other landmarks?


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Louis Riel Statue


This statue of Métis leader Louis Riel was originally located on the grounds of the Manitoba Legislative Building.  Unfortunately people would vandalize the statue in that location.  Vandalism is when someone purposely damages or destroys public property.  Vandalism is a crime.  In this photograph somebody has vandalized the statue of Louis Riel by wrapping a life preserver around it.  This statue was built to honour Louis Riel and his contributions to preserving Métis rights and culture.  How do you think the Métis felt when this landmark which means a lot to them was vandalized?  Has a landmark in your neighbourhood or community been vandalized?  How did that make you feel?  This statue was later moved to its current location.

Click here to find the Louis Riel Statue on a map of Manitoba. 

Where is the Louis Riel Statue now located?  What is the name of the park closest to the statue?  What other landmarks is it close to?


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Riel House


Riel House is a National Historic Site because it is the house where Louis Riel's family lived for many years.  Louis Riel was a Métis politician who fought for the rights and culture of the Métis people by organizing them in uprisings against the Canadian government.  He is now considered to be one of the founders of the province of Manitoba.  Riel House has been restored to mimic the home of Louis Riel's family following his execution.  The house is a museum containing Métis artifacts and shows visitors how a Métis family might have lived back in 1886.



The items inside Riel House not only give visitors a sense of the importance of Louis Riel to Manitoban history but also show what it was like inside the home of a Métis family in the 1880s.  This is a photograph of inside Riel House.  In this photograph you can see several crosses displayed on the wall.  The crosses demonstrate that the Riel family was very religious.  The painting on the right is of Louis Riel.  His family draped black fabric on his picture when he died as a symbol of their grief.

Click here to find Riel House on a map of Manitoba. 

Find out what street Riel House is on.  Is it beside a park?  Is it near a river?  If so, which river?


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St. Boniface Cathedral


This is a photograph of St. Boniface Cathedral.  It was built in the early-1900s and served the francophone Catholic population in St. Boniface for many years.  In 1968, the church burned in a terrible fire.  Only the front and sides of the building remain.  A new St. Boniface Cathedral was built in 1972 within the ruins of the previous cathedral.  Today, the old cathedral and the new cathedral, combined with the attached cemetery, is one of Winnipeg's most popular tourist destinations and one of the most historic francophone landmarks.



On July 22, 1968, the St. Boniface Cathedral was completely destroyed by a major fire.  Firefighters rushed to the scene but were unable to save the building or the contents inside.  Several bystanders were able to rescue a few items, such as the organ and a few chairs, from inside the church before the fire got too bad.  Once the fire was put out all that remained of the church was the front and sides of the building.  The residents of St. Boniface and the entire francophone community were devastated by the loss of this historic landmark.



Following the fire that destroyed St. Boniface Cathedral the francophone community were eager to build a new church.  It was decided to build the new church within the ruins of the old church.  This is a photograph of the new St. Boniface Cathedral.  It is much smaller in size than the previous cathedral but is still able to seat 1000 church-goers.  This new church is partially built out of the same materials as the previous church so the two structures blend together nicely.



In 1972 a new St. Boniface Cathedral was built within the ruins of the St. Boniface Cathedral that was mostly destroyed by fire in 1968.  This design was able to retain a portion of an existing francophone landmark that might have otherwised been torn down and use it to create a new landmark.  In this photograph you can see the new St. Boniface Cathedral with the brown roof behind the remains of the Cathedral that burned.

Click here to find the St. Boniface Cathedral on a map of Manitoba. 

What school is St. Boniface Cathedral near?  Is it close to any bodies of water?  What other landmarks is it close to?


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St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery


St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery is located on the grounds of the St. Boniface Cathedral.  Some very important Manitobans are buried here including Jean Baptiste Lagimodière, Jean-Baptiste de La Vérendrye, Chief One Arrow, and Louis Riel.  Every year on November 16, the day Louis Riel died, Métis people gather at Louis Riel's grave to remember him and talk about the past, present and future of the Métis people.  In this photograph, someone is looking at Louis Riel's tombstone.

Click here to find the St. Boniface Cathedral Cemetery on a map of Manitoba. 

Is the cemetery in the St. Boniface Cathedral or is it outside of the Cathedral?  Besides St. Boniface Cathedral, is the cemetery close to any other landmarks?


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St. Boniface Museum


The St. Boniface Museum contains many displays and exhibits featuring historical items that are important to both the Aboriginal and francophone communities.  This building, which was built in the late-1840s or early-1850s, is the oldest building in Winnipeg and is the largest building in North America made out of oak logs.  Before becoming a museum, the building was the property of the Grey Nuns who used it for many purposes, including a school and a hospital.

Click here to find the St. Boniface Museum on a map of Manitoba. 

Is the St. Boniface Museum near any parks?  Where is the nearest hospital?


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White Horse Statue


Have you ever seen this statue while driving on the highway?  The area where this statue is located is known as White Horse Plain.  The area is named after a white horse in an Aboriginal legend.  According to the legend, a warrior escaped with his wife on a white horse while being chased by his rival.  The warrior and his wife were killed in this area but the white horse escaped and roamed the area for years to come before spirits eventually reunited the horse with the warrior.  The statue was built to honour this story and to ensure that the story would be told to future generations.

Click here to find the White Horse statue on a map of Manitoba. 

Is the White Horse Statue near the Red or the Assiniboine River?  Is it closer to Headingley or Portage la Prairie?


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St. Mary's Church


St. Mary's Church was located in Mountain Road, Manitoba.  The church was a local landmark.  It was designed and built by famed Ukrainian architect Father Philip Ruh.  The church played a very important part in the lives of the residents of Mountain Road.  People attended church here every Sunday.  It was the site of many picnics and recreational activities.  Everyone admired its unique design and structure.  But on August 19, 1966, the church was struck by lightning, caught fire and burned to the ground.

Can you imagine how the people of Mountain Road must have felt seeing their much loved and respected church on fire?  Do you think they felt sad when there was nothing left of the church?  Do you think they felt angry?  Do you think they were worried that they would be without a church for a long time?

Watch the video of the St. Mary's Church on fire.  The video also shows the church before it caught on fire and the remains of the church after the fire was put out.  While watching the video also listen to two residents of Mountain Road who had close ties to the church tell stories of how the church was constructed and the effects the loss of the church had on the community.

Think of a landmark or popular place or building in your community or neighbourhood.  How would you feel if that place was damaged through vandalism or completely destroyed by a fire?


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