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The region now known as Assiniboia was formerly land held by the Hudson's Bay Company called Rupert's Land, populated overwhelmingly by Indian tribes with only a handful of European settlers in isolated outposts. The first major European settlement was sent by Lord Selkirk, a small colony of about 200 Scottish settlers that set up near the Hudson's Bay Company outpost of Fort Garry, which is where the city of Winnipeg eventually grew from. In 1869 Rupert's land was conceded to the recently established Dominion of Canada, and was named the Northwest Territory. However, the establishment of the Province of Manitoba, centered on Fort Garry, angered the native and Metis (descendants of European Fur trappers and Indian women they married), and, under the leadership of Louis Riel, the rebelled. The Red River Rebellion, and the killing of Ontarian Thomas Scott forced Canada to send forces to crush the uprising, and forced Riel into exile, though he attempted once again to lead the Northwest Rebellion in what was Saskatchewan for native rights, but was captured, tried, and hung. He is considered the founder of Manitoba, though English Canadian's considered him a traitor.From the establishment of Manitoba, and the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railroad through the province, lead to a massive increase in population, and the establishment of agriculture as the primary industry. Over 18,000 Manitoban men fought in First World War, and 14 Victoria Crosses were awarded to Manitobans. After the war, the fear of communism lead to the brutal suppression of the 1919 Winnipeg General Strike, notable for a Royal Northwest Mounted Police charge into the strikers, which resulted in serious injuries and one death. The strike leaders were charged with seditious conspiracy, illegal combinations, and seditious libel; four were aliens who were deported under the Canadian Immigration Act.
The Great Depression struck Manitoba especially hard, throwing thousands out of work and the drop in wheat prices, coupled with conditions known as the "Dust Bowl" led to an increase of economic diversification away from wheat and grain production. The Second World War helped lift the province out of the Depression, and was one of the main centers for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, which trained thousands of airmen. Winnipeg and other smaller towns in Manitoba was also home to a simulated Nazi Invasion, called "If Day", which was organized to sell Victory Bonds, and the event raised over $65 million.
After the war, the province's economy boomed, as oil was found in the Virden area, as well as mining in the Thompson area grew in importance. The city of Winnipeg was inundated in the Flood of 1950, which forced a partial evacuation of the city, and the calls by Primer Duff Roblin to construct a massive floodway to protect the city, and it was finished in 1968.
Before Doomsday, the province was booming, and was home to over one million people, 600,000 of whom lived in Winnipeg and the surrounding area. Winnipeg was a major thoroughfare for the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways, and Winnipeg International was a major hub, with destinations throughout Canada and the US being offered. The port of Churchill on Hudson Bay is the only seaport in the Prairie provinces, and the major shipping point to Europe of Canadian grain.
When Winnipeg was struck during Doomsday (due to its being a major hub in rail and air travel,), the region was immediately thrown into almost total chaos. Fortunately, a large part of the radiation was blown out to Hudson Bay. For a while the local communities were pretty much on their own, but armed gang raids from former Ontario forced them to meet together in Niverville. On the anniversary of Doomsday, they finally agreed to join forces to repel the gangs. They finally forced the raiders to leave the newly formed Dominion of Assiniboia. They elected farmer William McVicar, the provisional mayor of Niverville, as the first Prime Minister of Assiniboia.
The first priorities of the new government were to re-establish the agriculture of the region, and to help provide for the refugees that soon began flowing into Assiniboia, and to hold off the gangs of bandits that were raiding the borders. In order to ensure that food would last through the winter of 1984, rationing was imposed. The agriculture coming from the region was in small amounts, though was higher compared to many other nations because of the large agriculture industry in the area. However, the 1984 harvest was better than was predicted after a major nuclear war, though was still lower than in previous years. By 1990, agriculture was finally close to the levels of pre-Doomsday, with new fertilizers and dropping radiation levels around the world contributing to this success, though rationing was still in place until 2001.
The refugees that came to Assiniboia after Doomsday were treated well, and many would choose to become citizens of the new nation, while others tried to make their way to the west, toward the North American Union after the Provisional United States was founded in 1991.
In 1987, the first expedition to the source of the Red River was made, and was able to reach the city of Fargo, which revealed that most of the areas around the former Great Plains had become self-sufficient city states, in a loose confederation called the " Provisional Government of the Dakota's."
Northern expeditions in 1989 revealed that the native reserves had joined with the town of The Pas for protection from renegade aboriginal armed bands, but had not formed a nation. They held off joining with Assiniboia at that time, but the expedition gave arms and resources to the defenders of the region to hold off the bands. When they reported back, Prime Minister William McVicar was reported to have said "... at least we know we are not alone, which is a good feeling, and a great moment for all of us." A second northern expedition in 1996 resulted in the finding the deserted towns of Thompson, Flin Flon and Gillam, which, it was assumed, the majority had died of starvation. It was later found out that the handful that did survive lived in the bush since 1984. Plans to repopulate the towns are ongoing, as they are important mining towns, and are close to the hydro dams to the north.
After William McVicar retired from the Prime Minister's post in 1990, another farmer, William "Bill" Brigden, from the Southwestern portion of the nation was elected. He continued the former PM's policies, although his efforts to improve the economy in other parts of the fledgling nation, especially in the south western and northern parts of Assiniboia, were moderately successful. The major project to re-establish contact with the northern hydroelectric plants was also successful, and a secure source of electricity was secured.
The Crisis and Flood of 1997After Bill Brigden left office in 1995, Brian Ransom from Boissevain, a local Conservative Politician, briefly took over the PM's post, until failing health forced him to resign in 1997. After a heated debate, Elisha Harper, the first Aboriginal to hold the post of Prime Minister, was named interim PM a few days later, on April 17, and almost immediately after had to confront the Red River Flood of 1997, which reached Manitoba less than two weeks later. However, the quick actions from the Royal Assiniboian Mounted Police to rescue those in the South prevented any major loss of life, though the radioactive ruins of Winnipeg was flooded, as the Red Diver Floodway was inoperable due to the destruction of the former provincial capital on Doomsday, the pollution being drained out into Lake Winnipeg via the Red River. This nearly destroying much of the remaining fishing stocks in the Lake, though it is starting to recover. Harper was elected in 2000. Current PM Dave Burgess from Brandon, which was not hit on Doomsday, was elected in 2005. He made a major turn in policy by reaching out toward the east and west, coming into contact with the Provisional Government of Canada and the United States, as with a food and power source were secure. Efforts to deter the armed bands of Aboriginal residents, calling themselves "Riel's Army" are still ongoing, but major headway was reached when the RAMP captured the town of Norway House in 2003, which saved the towns of the Central region from anymore attacks.
A Eastern Expedition was sent in early 2005, and contact was made Thunder Bay was made later that year, but after scouts realized that the town was a Fascist dictatorship, left, and later made contact with Superior and the Canada Remainder Provinces in 2006, but an offer to join with Canada was rejected.
The government is similar to the Canadian government, the Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms are virtually identical to Canada's, except for a key difference.
- The election of a Prime Minister is completely independent of the election of representatives in Parliament. As such, the Prime Minister is directly elected by the people.
- The age of Candidacy is 18, which is more along the lines of Australia than Canada's
The first elections after Doomsday was held in 1985, were interim Prime Minister William McVicar won unopposed. His major platform was to re-establish agriculture, defend against the various tribal gangs/bands attacking, and try to contact other survivor states. He is considered one of the most level-headed and calm of the leaders who came to power after Doomsday, and retired after one term in 1990. He returned to working his family farm outside the small town of Otterburne, Manitoba. His son Dustin McVicar is seen to be the favoured candidate in the next election in 2016.
Though they are lower than in other parts of the world, cancer rates are still higher than pre-DD levels. A quarantine zone has been placed around the site of the former city of Winnipeg. In light of lowering levels or radiation, there is talk of resettling the outer limits of the city, but this has not yet been possible.
There is a militia in place to deter armed gangs from the former province of Ontario. It consists of the local remnants of the Canadian Army and the RCMP, mostly based at the former Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Shilo, near Brandon. There is a continuation of the RCMP called the Royal Assiniboian Mounted Police (RAMP).
Culture and Media
Assiniboia's culture is heavily influenced by Aboriginal and Metis culture, as well as the "imported" cultures of numerous groups of immigrants, such as the Icelandic and Ukrainians. After Doomsday, the festivals that had traditionally taken place in Winnipeg were later restarted in several other communities, such as Festival du Voyageur, honouring the fur traders that helped build Assinboia's past, and was restarted in the Franco-Assiniboian community of Ste. Rose du Lac in 2002; and Folkarama, celebrating the rich cultural backgrounds of the immigrants of Assiniboia, restarted in Brandon in 2004.
Other important figures after Doomsday included cartoonist Lynn Johnston, creator of For Better or For Worse, and living in the small community of Lynn Lake and painter Terry McLean from the Virden region, who specialized in wildlife painting. Well known rockers from before Doomsday, including Neil Young, Burton Cummings and Randy Bachman, and who, presumably died in the tragedy, were from Assiniboia. Their legacy helped inspire several other small rock groups in the province as well, which strengthened the Assiniboian music tradition, which also included country music and old-fashioned Metis fiddling.
The most read newspaper in the province is the Brandon Sun, which, since Doomsday, had to decrease its size, and ultimately shut down in 1985, but restarted in 2003, with a memorial to Doomsday on September 27, 20 years before. Many small town newspapers have also shut down since doomsday, and only a handful have been able to start up again. Radio is as still remains the most important source of news and weather for Assiniboia, with stations in Brandon, Melita, Virden, Niverville, Boissevain, Dauphin and other towns to serve the nation.
In 1989 the Assiniboians, in hopes of promoting national morale, revived the playing of certain sports. On New Year's Eve 1989 the first game of the new NHL was played. They also revived the tradition of the Stanley Cup, which was awarded in similar fashion to the destroyed original cup. The new National Hockey League has 6 teams from various communities in the nation.
- Niverville Clippers
- Steinbach Huskies
- St Adolphe Hawks
- Mitchell Mohawks
Despite the radiation damage caused by the nuclear bombing of Winnipeg, the main economy of the region is still agriculture. Minor food based industries in the Brandon area are very important, and some light industry based in the area is starting to thrive again. There have been plans circulating to build an oil pipeline from neighboring Athabaska. These plans are still in the negotiation stage. The earliest date the construction can begin is 2015.
EnergyThe Hydroelectric dams the former Manitoba Hydro operated became an important source of power to the fledgling nation, as the structures were assumed to be in only moderate disrepair, and the some of the generators could be repaired. The dams on the Winnipeg River, totaling six in former Manitoba (totaling 570 megawatts), were first taken over and secured, but due to the age of the dams (the first had been built in 1911), it was decided that the massive northern projects, especially the four Nelson River dams, totaling over 3000 MW, would need to be secured, which was done so by 2004, and two of them are partially operational as of today, while the other two are virtually destroyed, parts from these two being used to fix the more operable ones. Other power plants included two small hydro dams on the Laurie River, but were considered to expensive to maintain for little output, a larger facility on the North Saskatchewan River, and a steam plant in Brandon, which was only used after Doomsday for a few weeks before the source of coal needed to run the plant ran out, and has not been used since. Assiniboia Hydro was formed in 2003 to control the various facilities, but RAMP forces are stationed at the plants due to the high risk of rebel native attacks. Several power lines went through the ruins of Winnipeg, and other lines running on the west side of Lake Winnipeg were enough to bring the power south, several attacks by Native rebels knocked down several in the 1990's. Plans for a new transmission line, running from the north through The Pas and Dauphin to reach Brandon are currently under consideration.
The Assiniboians have healthy relations with most of the nations of North America. Both the North American Union and the post-DD Canadian government have forwarded offers to help bring the Assiniboians into their respective unions. However, the highly independent nature of the Assiniboians has caused them to politely reject both offers. The NAU was not helped by its failure to control its Lakotan member-state, as the ongoing border dispute, and smoldering brush-fire war has not endeared them to the Lakotans or their NAU leaders. The Canadians were stopped dead by the total impracticality of bringing the Assiniboians back into confederation. The firmly practical heads in Niverville have pointed out, time and again, that there is plenty of territory between former Manitoba and Canada to keep them busy for a while. The Athabaskans are the only nation that are really close to the Assiniboians. This is because they feel that they are a kindred nation. They both share the same determination to stay independent, despite the expanding influence of the Canadian government in St John's.
Assiniboia, with its position in the center of the North American continent, continues to work to improve relations with other survivor nations. With its position in the center of the Trans-Canada Highway, the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railways, it has the ability to link the Pacific and the Atlantic in the future. But because of the difficulty in combating armed gangs in Ontario and other lawless parts of former Canada it prohibitively expensive to ship all but the most important and valuable of cargo since all shipments require an armed escort.