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ASSINIBOIA, a name formerly applied to two districts of Canada, but not now held by any. (1) A district formed in 1835 by the Hudson’s Bay Company, having in it Fort Garry at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine rivers in Rupert’s Land, North America. It extended over a circular area, with a radius of 50 m. from Fort Garry. It was governed by a local council nominated by the Hudson’s Bay Company. It ceased to exist when Rupert’s Land was transferred to Canada in 1870. (2) A district of the North-west Territories, which was given definite existence by an act of the Dominion parliament in 1875. Assiniboia extended from the western boundary of Manitoba (99° W. in 1875, and 101° 25′ W. in 1881) to 111° W., and from 49° N. to 52° N. The name was a misnomer, as it barely touched the Assiniboine river. To the north of the district lay the district of Saskatchewan, so that when the two were united by the Dominion act of 1905, they were somewhat changed in boundaries and the name Saskatchewan was given to the new province. The derivation of Assiniboia is from two Ojibway words, assini meaning a stone, and the termination “to cook by roasting”; from these came a name first applied to a Dakota or Sioux tribe living on the Upper Red river; afterwards when this tribe separated from the Dakotas, its name was given to the branch of the Red river which the tribe visited, the river being known as the Assiniboine and the tribe as Assiniboin.
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