Miles/kms to Minneapolis:
Winnipeg lies at the confluence of the Assiniboine and the Red River of the North, a location now known as "The Forks". This point was at the crossroads of canoe routes travelled by First Nations before European contact. The name Winnipeg is a transcription of the Western Cree word wi-nipe-k meaning "muddy waters"; the area was populated for several thousand years by First Nations. Evidence provided by archaeology, petroglyphs, rock art and oral history indicates that native peoples used the area in prehistoric times for camping, hunting, tool making, fishing, trading and, farther north, for agriculture. Estimates of the date of first settlement in this area are varied and range from 11,500 years ago for a site southwest of the present city to 6,000 years ago at the Forks. In 1805, First Nations peoples were observed engaging in farming activity along the Red River. The practice quickly expanded, driven by the demand by traders for provisions. The rivers provided an extensive transportation network linking northern First Peoples with those to the south along the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. The Ojibwe made some of the first maps on birch bark, which helped fur traders navigate the waterways of the area.