The history & society of Canada

First settlers

Canada’s history dates back to around 30,000 BC with the arrival of the Aboriginal people via the land bridge of the Bering Straight.  It wasn’t until 1,000 BC that the Vikings turned up, but, faced with hostility, they withdrew, leaving the Aboriginal tribes to flourish and develop a variety of languages, customs, religious beliefs, arts and crafts, laws and governments.

France and Britain
The French laid the first claim on a chunk of Canada in 1534, while another French explorer later founded Quebec.  By 1663, Canada was home to about 3,000 French settlers and thus became a province of France - that is until the English came along, and, in 1763, the Treaty of Paris saw France hand Canada over to Britain.

Relations were rather strained between France and Britain until fear of being taken over by the US made them band together.  The Dominion of Canada in 1867 gave birth to modern Canada and the country was further strengthened on completed of the Canadian Pacific Railways, which joined the East and West coasts.  All provinces were part of the central government by 1949.

Independent Canada
Canada became independent from Britain in 1931 and in the prosperous years following World War II there was a huge influx of immigrants from Europe as well as Asia and Latin America.

Since 1975, a series of land rights agreements had been signed with Canada's Aboriginal peoples, giving them some control over a vast amount of land of the northern region of Canada.

Society and culture
Canada’s modern society is a multicultural one.  The European culture and traditions, especially British and French, have historically influenced Canada.  But over time the cultures of Canada’s Aboriginal peoples and immigrant cultures have been incorporated into mainstream Canadian culture.  The country has also been influenced by the US.  These four influences have combined over centuries to form the modern culture of Canada.

Being a country of immigrants, Canada encompasses a multicultural blend of races and backgrounds.  So despite having no official religion, the majority of Canadians are Christian and a wide range of other religions are also represented.

*The fine print
We’ve tried to make this destination guide as accurate as possible but please double check the essentials like visas, health and safety, airport information etc with the relevant authorities before you travel.  STA Travel takes no responsibility for loss, injury or inconvenience caused as a result of this guide.  All prices listed are in the currency of the destination, unless otherwise stated.

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