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
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.
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