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Built on Agriculture

Source: The Bicentenary of the Red River Selkirk Settlement Committee


Built on Agriculture teacher guide cover

Built on Agriculture is a four-part documentary series that pays tribute to the people who settled the plains of Manitoba and what they achieved.

Part 1 -The Selkirk Settlers: Lord Selkirk’s compassion for the Scottish crofters helped seed the Canadian prairies with a population that helped retain the land for Canada. They faced many struggles surviving the early decades and becoming successful farmers. Because of their success the prairies were then settled by waves of immigrant farmers attracted by free land and fueled by the Canadian Government’s support for the railroad.

Teachers, please note — during the discussion of the battle in June of 1816 between men from the North West Company and the Selkirk settlers (15:48 – 16:10 in the video), Dr. Jack Bumstead uses a pejorative term to describe the men from the North West Company. While this term was commonly used in the past, it is no longer acceptable. You may want to use this instance as a teachable moment and have a discussion with your students about how language evolves with greater cultural awareness and as part of the work of Reconciliation — or choose not to show this video.

Part 2 - The Institutions: The Grain Exchange, grain pools, private grain companies and The Canadian Wheat Board all contributed to agriculture growth in Manitoba and western Canada. Women played a major role in establishing agriculture growth and a healthy farm family.

Part 3 - The Farmers: Five Manitoba farmers are profiled to give insight into the hardships and variety of modern-day farming. Noted experts comment on the concerns and the opportunities that are part of the modern farmer’s world. Just what is the future of the family farm?

Part 4 - Feeding the World: Industry trends, consumer trends, technology, equipment, and climate all will contribute to the future of agriculture in the next century. What has food science contributed? What are science, business and government working toward in the future to produce better, healthier food in larger quantities?

Part 1 - The Selkirk Settlers and Part 3 - The Farmers have both been recognized with Regional Emmy nominations.

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