Portal:History of Canada

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The History of Canada Portal
This is a sister portal of the Canada Portal

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The history of Canada begins with the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago. Canada has been inhabited for millennia by Aboriginal peoples, who evolved trade, spiritual and social hierarchies systems. Some of these civilisations had long faded by the time of the first permanent European arrivals (c. late 15th - early 16th centuries), and have been discovered through archaeological investigations. Various laws, treaties, and legislation have been enacted between European settlers and the Indigenous populations.

Beginning in the late 15th century, French and British expeditions explored, and later settled, along the Atlantic coast. France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763 after the Seven Years' War. In 1867, with the union of three British North American colonies through Confederation, Canada was formed as a federal dominion of four provinces. This began an accretion of provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Over centuries, elements of Aboriginal traditions and immigrant customs have integrated to form a Canadian culture. Canada has also been strongly influenced by that of its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States. Since the conclusion of the Second World War, Canada has been committed to multilateralism abroad and socioeconomic development domestically. Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories, and is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.

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King George VI and Queen Elizabeth meet with Nakoda chieftains, who display an image of the King's great-grandmother, Queen Victoria, in Calgary, 1939.
The relationship between the Canadian Crown and Aboriginal peoples of Canada stretches back to the first interactions between European colonialists and North American indigenous peoples. Over centuries of interaction, treaties were established concerning the monarch and aboriginal tribes. Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples have, like the Māori and the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand, come to generally view these agreements as being not between them and the ever-changing Cabinet, but instead with the continuous Crown of Canada, as embodied in the reigning sovereign. These agreements with the Crown of Canada are administered by Canadian Aboriginal law and overseen by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development.

The affiliation between the Aboriginal peoples of Canada and that country's reigning monarch is said to be a mutual one; "cooperation will be a cornerstone for partnership between Canada and First Nations, wherein Canada is the short-form reference to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada." Governing this are the various treaties signed by aboriginal leaders and agents of the Crown, wherein aboriginal rights are defined and their sovereignty is reconciled with that of the monarch for "as long as the sun shines, grass grows and rivers flow."

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SS Edmund Fitzgerald (nicknamed "Mighty Fitz," "The Fitz," or "The Big Fitz") was an American Great Lakes freighter launched on June 8, 1958. At the time of her launching, she was one of the first boats to be at or near maximum "St Lawrence Seaway Size" which was 730 feet (220 m) long and 75 feet (23 m) wide. From her launching in 1958 until 1971 the Fitzgerald continued to be one of the largest boats on the Great Lakes.

On November 10, 1975, while traveling on Lake Superior during a gale, the Fitzgerald sank suddenly in Canadian waters approximately 17 miles (15 nmi; 27 km) from the entrance of Whitefish Bay at a depth of 530 feet (160 m). Although she had reported having some difficulties before the accident, the Fitzgerald sank without sending any distress signals. Her crew of 29 perished in the sinking with no bodies being recovered. When the wreck was found, it was discovered that the Fitzgerald had broken in two.

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TerryFoxToronto19800712.JPG
Terrance Stanley "Terry" Fox, CC, OD (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer research activist. In 1980, as a one-legged amputee, he embarked on a cross-Canada run to raise money and awareness for cancer research. Though the spread of his cancer forced him to end his quest after 143 days and 5,280 kilometres (3,280 mi), and ultimately cost him his life, his determination and example created a lasting, worldwide legacy. The annual Terry Fox Run, first held in 1981, has grown to involve millions of participants in over 60 countries and is now the world's largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research; over C$500 million has been raised in his name.

In 1980, he began the Marathon of Hope, a cross-country run to raise money for cancer research. Fox hoped to raise one dollar for each of Canada's 24 million people. He started with little fanfare from St. John's, Newfoundland in April and ran the equivalent of a full marathon every day. Fox was the youngest person ever named a Companion of the Order of Canada, the nation's highest civilian award. He won the 1980 Lou Marsh Award as the nation's top sportsman and was named Canada's Newsmaker of the Year in both 1980 and 1981. Considered a national hero, he has had many buildings, roads and parks named in his honour across the country.

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Banff Springs Hotel, October 1929, Banff Alberta

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Topics Provinces & Territories Cities & Regions

Canada Canada
Canada flag map.svg Geography of Canada
Canadian Coat of Arms Shield.svg  History of Canada
Canadian Forces emblem.svg Canadian Forces
Can-vote-stub.svg  Politics of Canada
Tower-wireless-can.png  Music of Canada
CanadaSoccer.svg  Sports of Canada
Canadian television stub icon.svg  Canadian TV
Trans-Canada Highway shield.svg  Roads of Canada
Volcanism of Canada flag.png Volcanism of Canada
Royal Standard of King Louis XIV.svg New France
Flag of Acadia.svg  Acadia
20px Aboriginals

Ontario  Ontario
Quebec  Quebec
Nova Scotia  Nova Scotia
New Brunswick  New Brunswick
Manitoba  Manitoba
British Columbia  British Columbia
Prince Edward Island  P.E.I.
Saskatchewan  Saskatchewan
Alberta  Alberta
Newfoundland and Labrador  Newfoundland & Labrador
Northwest Territories  Northwest Territories
Yukon  Yukon
Nunavut  Nunavut

Flag of Ottawa, Ontario.svg  Ottawa
Toronto Flag.svg  Toronto
Flag of Vancouver (Canada).svg  Vancouver
Flag of Calgary, Alberta.svg  Calgary
Flag of Montreal.svg  Montreal
20px  Edmonton
Flag of Hamilton.svg  Hamilton
Flag of Quebec City.svg  Quebec City
City of St. John's.jpg  St. John's
Coat of arms of Québec.svg  Quebec Regions

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  Eastern Ont.

YorkRegion.png  York Region
Arctic Ocean.jpg  Arctic


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