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Geography Occupying 41% of the North American continent, Canada is the second largest country in the world in terms of total area. Canada also has the world’s longest coastline at 125,570 miles. Boreal forests cover the southern portion of the country. The southwest prairies are good for agriculture and the southeast lowlands contain most of the population. The arctic regions in the north and the Rocky Mountains are covered in tundra.
Geography The Great Lakes, located on the Canada – United States border, form the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world. They hold 21% of the world’s surface fresh water. The St. Lawrence River and the Mackenzie River are the second and third largest rivers by volume of discharge, respectively, in North America. Mount Logan is the highest point in Canada, and the second-highest point in North America. Due to active tectonic uplifting, Mount Logan is still rising in elevation.
People Today, there are approximately 34,265,000 people living in Canada. About 4% of this population is made up of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples, which includes the First Nations, Inuit, and Métis. French and British began to settle in Canada in the 15th century. The Great Migration of Canada was a period of high immigration to Canada between 1815 and 1850. The majority of these immigrants were from Great Britain.
People Legislative restrictions originally favored British and other European immigrants, but in 1960 these laws were amended, opening the doors to people from around the world. Since then, the Canadian government has put emphasis on the social importance of immigration. This has resulted in a diverse, accepting, and multicultural society.
Culture Multiculturalism itself is a strong part of Canadian culture. Section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms even says, “This Charter shall be interpreted in a manner consistent with the preservation and enhancement of the multicultural heritage of Canadians.” Multiculturalism has become the norm in Canada. Canada has two official languages: French and English. Canada is also known for being very accepting of the LGBT community.
Culture In the 1920’s, the Group of Seven became famous for its paintings of the Canadian landscape. It is often considered the first uniquely Canadian artistic group and style of painting. Robertson Davies (1913 – 1995) was one of Canada’s most popular authors. He was best known for writing The Deptford Trilogy, which included the famous novel, Fifth Business. Ice hockey is Canada’s official national winter sport, and its most successful sport in international competition.
History In the 11th century, Norsemen tried to settle in Canada, but were driven off by the indigenous peoples. In 1603, Samuel de Champlain – “The Father of New France” - began exploring North America for France. He established Quebec City, the first permanent settlement and the capital of New France, in 1608. In 1710, Britain seized control of Port Royal. Nova Scotia was officially ceded to Britain with the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. Many French were expelled from Canada.
History The French colony along the St. Lawrence River continued to flourish. Canada was an important battlefield in the Seven Years’ War, after which France ceded almost all of its territory in mainland North America. However, the British rulers allowed the French-speaking habitants to continue practicing their own religion, politics, and social culture. The Quebec Conference and Charlottetown Conference in 1864 laid the framework for uniting the colonies into a federation. The London Conference of 1866 led to the formation of the Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867.