La Vérendrye, Pierre Gaultier de Varennes, Sieur de(1685–1749), a Canadian explorer. He is considered the discoverer of Manitoba, the Dakotas, and western Minnesota. La Vérendrye was born in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. He served in the French army in Europe during the War of the Spanish Succession, and in the War's American phase, called Queen Anne's War.
In 1731 La Vérendrye and three of his sons set out to explore western Canada, having been promised a fur monopoly in any regions they discovered. La Vérendrye established outposts at Rainy Lake, Lake of the Woods, and Lake Winnipeg. Later trips took him to the Missouri River and the Black Hills.