Click here to go back to Basic Facts

canada.jpg (3921 bytes)



  Canada has a long, rich history of occupation by aboriginal peoples and settlement from Europe. Groups of Inuit and First Peoples inhabited North America prehistorically. The Europeans first arrived in Canada when the Viking's settled at L'Anse aux Meadows around 1000 AD.

The next Europeans to come to Canada were from England, including the famous explorer, John Cabot in 1497. In 1534, the French explored Canada under the leadership of Jacques Cartier. Throughout this period, seasonal Basque whalers and fisherman would use the coastal waters between the Grand Banks and Tadoussac.

The first permanent European settlements were made by the French explorer, Samuel de Champlain in 1605 at Port Royal and Quebec City in 1608. The English established fishing outposts in Newfoundland around 1610 as they began colonizing in present-day United States. Parts of Canada were settled by France, and parts settled by England and Scotland.

Only July 1, 1867, Canada became and independent country. It included the provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Sir John A. MacDonald was the country's first Prime Minister. Manitoba, the Yukon and the Northwest Territories all became part of Canada in 1870. British Columbia joined in 1871 and Prince Edward Island in 1873. In 1999, Nanavut was created as Canada's third territory, out of the Northwest Territories, in an agreement with the Inuit people.


Updated: 19 March 2008

menubottom.gif (7627 bytes)