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High Quality Content by WIKIPEDIA articles! The Red River Colony (or Selkirk Settlement) was a colonization project set up by Thomas Douglas, 5th Earl of Selkirk in 1811 on 300,000 square kilometres (120,000 sq mi) of land granted to him by the Hudson's Bay Company under what is referred to as the Selkirk Concession. The colony along the Red River of the North was never very successful, but changes during the development of Canada in the 1800s led to the colony forming the basis of what is today Manitoba.Selkirk had become interested in the concept of settling the area after reading Alexander Mackenzie's 1801 book on his adventures in exploring what is today the west of Canada. At the time, social upheaval in Scotland due to the introduction of sheep farming and the ensuing Highland and Lowland Clearances had left a number of Scots destitute. Selkirk was interested in giving them a chance at a better life in a new colony he called Assiniboia.