Manitoba Heritage Council Commemorative Plaques

First Farmers in the Red River Valley

First Farmers in the Red River Valley
Installed 1994
Kenosewun Park, PTH 44

Aboriginal people living on this site in the early 1400s used a wide range of food sources that included the cultivation and harvesting of corn. This represents the earliest known evidence of farming on the Canadian prairies, and the northernmost expressions of pre-European horticulture on the North American continent.

Major population growth between 1000 and 1300 A.D. in Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Iowa, followed by several decades of drought, led to the dispersal of local farming communities. People associated with these communities brought the knowledge of horticulture to the Red River Valley.

Archaeological investigations on this site in the 1980s unearthed charred corn kernels, hoes made from the shoulder blades of bison, underground storage pits (some of which were up to 2 metres deep), and pottery styles that originated among the Native farming cultures of the upper Mississippi and Missouri river valleys.