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Canada : History
To react on this section or participate, contact : Claude
source: magazine "A Look at Canada" distributed to citizenship seekers.

Where does the name Canada comes from?

It's Jacques Cartier at the beginning of 1500 who used the aborigen word "kanata", a traduction of the word village and refering to the whole country. Later the european cartographers used this word which they wrote Canada to design all the land north of the St Laurent river.

Creation of the Canadian Confederation

On July 1st, 1867, the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and of Nova Scotia united in Confederation to created a the new country of Canada which was legalized by the British North America Act of 1867.
This is why the 1st of july is named the Canada Day which is considered like the national holiday of Canada and where everyones celebrates the anniversary of the Confederation.

In 1870, Manitoba and the North Western Territories joined the confederation. They where followed:
            in 1871 by the British Columbia
            in 1873 by Prince Edward Island
            in 1898 by the Yukon
            in 1905 by Alberta and the Saskatchewan
            and finally in 1949 by Terra Nova.

In 1965 Canada adopted it's new official white and red flag with the erable leaf. Those 10 provinces and 2 territories are gathered into 5 large regions which are:
           - The Atlantic region
           - Central Canada
           - The prairies
           - The west coast
           - The North
The Atlantic region is made of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Terra Nova.
The first settlers came in this part of Canada to fish and hunt with the aborigens who where living there since thousands of years.

The settlers

In 1500 the explorator Jacques Cartier arrived on the Atlantique coast.
In 1600, the first settlers named the Acadiens, were the first europeans to settle permanently in Canada. Later on, they were joined by settlers of the british Islands and germans.
At the end of 1700, thousands of britains (Loyalist), coming from the US, settled on the atlantic coast. A few settlers from Africa from the first days also arrived from the US to Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.
Note: New Brunswick is the only province in Canada which is officially bilingual and a third of the population is living and working using the french language.

Cental Canada is gathering Quebec and Ontario

Quebec :
The aborigens natives and the inuit were the first inhabitants of this area.
At the beginning of 1600, the french settlers settled along the St Laurent River. Nowaday, they total more than 3/4 of the Quebec population and speak french as a first language and more than one third speaks french and english.
Ontario :
One third of the canadienne population lives in Ontario. Most of them speak english. Putting aside Quebec, Ontario has the largest french speaking population. The Algonquins and the Iroquois were the first inhabitants of this area.

The Prairies

The Prairies are gathering Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
The aborigens who were living the prairies were famous buffalo hunters. Their descendants and the metis became an important source, businesmen, guides and translators for the fur business. The french speakers came in the first days of fur business and their descendants are still living in the area today.

The West

At the end of 1800 the Canadien governement built a railroad crossing the Prairies until the Pacific coast which eased immigation to the west coast.
Beginning 1900, 3 millions settlers from Europe and England settled in the prairies. Many settled on areas offered at a low price by the governement to speed up immigrartion to the west.

The west coast is gathering Britsh Colombia which border the Pacific Ocean and which is reknown for it's majestic mountains : The rockies, the Colombian mountains and the coastal mountains.
the aborigens living in this area were very skilled wood workers and are reknown for their famous totems representating sea and ground animals of the area.

Beginning 1800, the fur business extendss to the west and the first settlers arrived.
End 1800, thousands of chinese came to British Columbia to help building the final section of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Many of their descendants are living in this province today.

The north

The North comprise the Northen Territories and Yukon. Scarcely populated, aborigens are half of the population in the Northen Territories and 1/ 4 in the Yukon.
In 1600, the Europeans arrvied, attracted by the fur business. The bay of Hudson Company controlled the North and the fur business during 200 years. Sill today, a few natives earn their lives et get food by hunting and setting up traps.

Symbols of Canada

The Castor appears on the 5 cents coin.
The red and white flag with the erable leaf.
The 1st of july named Canada Day, anniversary of the Confederation.
Sir John A. Macdonald who became the first Prime Minister in 1867 and which face is on the 10 dollars bill.

 


 
 

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