Manitoba’s Heartland

The following is an article written to promote a travelling exhibit from the Manitoba Museum that was hosted at the Library in the summer of 2000. The article was written by Toby Maloney, a library staff member at the time.

A small part of the Manitoba Museum of Man & Nature, displaying a large part of Manitoba, is on display in the Boissevain & Morton Regional Library this summer.Eight foot high display panels arranged in three sections tell the story of the land, plants, animals, people, and history of the Parklands/Mixed Woods Region of the province. The Parklands/Mixed Woods region is the heartland of Manitoba covering much of the Interlake, Westman and the southwest corner. The natural area of transition between the Boreal Forest to the north, Deciduous Forest to the southeast and Grassland Plains to the southwest, it is the most populous and diverse region of the province.

The traveling exhibit Manitoba’s Heartland was created by the Museum of Man and Nature as a prototype for a major new gallery at the museum in Winnipeg. The exhibit allows the Museum to respond to the communities which assisted in the research, by presenting some of the gallery plans and inviting further input and evaluation. The Parklands/Mixed Woods region is the only area not yet represented in the story of Manitoba as it is presented in the Museum — a journey through the province from north to south, from past to present.

Manitoba’s Heartland captures the essence and explores the interrelationship of the people, the history, and the natural world. It features graphic panels, photographs, specimens, artifacts and replicas from the museum collection.

The natural landscape of Manitoba’s Heartland is spectacular, from the shifting sands of the Carberry “desert,” to the ice age waters of the province’s “great” lakes and the ancient aboriginal settlements in the west. The region is home to magnificent elk, the amazing red-sided garter snake, the little brown cave bat, and thousands of species of plants and animals that co-exist in this varied and rich environment.

The people of Manitoba’s Heartland have played an integral role in shaping the history of the province. The various First Nations, early European explorers and fur traders, the Metis and each new wave of immigrants all contributed to the cultural mix of the region. The dynamic interplay of these different cultures has resulted in the creation of a unique and vibrant society.

The exhibit is on display in Boissevain library at least until the end of August but possibly for part of September. Watch for notices of public programming with a visiting curator associated with the exhibit in September.

You can visit the Manitoba Museum of Man and Nature on the web at

by Toby Maloney, Assistant Librarian (Summer 2000)