At the end of this lesson, students should have an awareness of the geography associated with the LAA and with the historical legacy that exists today in Winnipeg.

Essential Question:

2.2: How did the fur trade, European settlement, and the rise of the Métis Nation transform life for the peoples of the Northwest?

Historical Thinking Concepts:

2.  Use primary source evidence

3.  Identify continuity and change


At the beginning of the activity, ask students to think about street names in their community. See if they can think of the historical connections that these names might have. Is the school named after someone famous? Why do we do this?

Next, show students some of the historical maps located on Manitoba Historical Maps or via photos from your community (local newspapers will have lots). Explore the maps of Winnipeg and St. Boniface and other communities (especially the maps from around 1870) and ask students what on the maps has changed and what has remained the same.

You can then use Google Earth to see what these streets look like now.


To focus the search and inquiry, now task students to search for streets and roads named after people who lived in Red River at the time of the Legislative Assembly of Assiniboia. To help them, point them to the Manitoba Historical Society’s page, which looks at streets named after famous Manitobans.

Have the students choose a street of one of these individuals, be it someone associated with the LAA, the HBC, or the Canadian government. Students can research their person/street and present to the rest of the class in a variety of ways, for example, through electronic means, in person, or through a class blog.


Now that your students have a good understanding of the street and person they have chosen, have them go to this street (if you are in the area), take a picture of themselves at that location. Have your students share their photo with a wider audience.

When back in class, display the stream of photos and locate them on a current map of Winnipeg using a paper map or Google Earth. See if the class can see a pattern of where streets are, based on the political positions their person would have taken.

Finally, have groups of students create walking tours of Winnipeg based on the streets you have identified. These might be virtual walking tours or actually planned-out tours that can be put into action. The virtual walking tours will obviously be a great option for learning communities that are outside of Winnipeg.


When the walking tours are completed, invite members of the community to come out to take a tour. Walk around (virtually or in person) with your students and listen to the stories they tell of the people behind the names. If you are not in Winnipeg, have community members come in and give them a walking tour via Google Earth!

These activities can certainly be modified to meet individual community needs and geographic locations.