This vast landscape touches three oceans and spans over seven different topographical zones. With it’s nine varied provinces and three territories, these are reasons enough to explore this beautiful country. From rocky cliffs of the East coast, to the giant cedars of the West coast. From the mixed forests to the rocky mountains, from the golden plains to the fruitful valleys. Canada has it all!
Before this land was claimed in the 16th century, it was home to a variety of indigenous people who lived in partnership with the earth. The Haida, renown for their handcarved totem poles resided on the West coast of British Columbia. The nomadic Blackfoot, Cree and Ojibwa tribes lived in tepees on the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba plains. The Inuit braved the snow scapes Arctic and the sedentary Iroquois and nomadic Algonquin lived in the mixed forests of the East. In fact the name Canada came from the Iroquoian word “kanata” which meant settlement or village. Great explorers like Jacques Cartier and Samuel de Champlain later discovered this North American paradise and traded with the natives. Before long, French and English colonials settled these lands and took root, later creating two distinct cultures. Unfortunately, centuries of war ensued between England and France that stretched across the Atlantic ocean enfulfing even the native population as well. In the end the province of Quebec was held by the French while the rest of Canada primarily by the English. Canada was officially founded a country in 1867. To this day the concentration of French and English remain the same, however both cultures live together side by side in harmony. French and English are also both recognized as the official languages of Canada.
Today there are just over 34,000,000 Canadians and what unites us is our passion for hockey, our easy going demeanor and our love for the great outdoors. Our only real neighbors are our American cousins to the South, otherwise we share this great landscape with wildlife that considerably outnumbers us .
The Capital of Canada is Ottawa where our Prime Minister governs the country from the parliament buildings. The Canadian dollar is called the Loonie, our flag has a red maple leaf on it and we have four distinctive seasons (not just winter like some people think). Although, winter is probably one of our favorite times of the year. With things to do like playing hockey, skiing, sledding, snowshoeing and ice skating to name a few, it’s pretty hard to get bored. So come and have fun and explore this great nation.
Canada, yours to discover!
Stephanie, Tristan, Evan and Owen