history1As Canadians, our history plays a large part in who we are. The waves of immigration from other parts of the world happened at different times and under different circumstances, hence Canadians of today can trace their lineage back to other parts of the world.

This historical timeline is by no means a complete record of Canadian history, but it includes many of the events, people and places that created the Canada of today.

First Nations

Written history of Canada was recorded by early European travelers and settlers to North America, but there also exists a wealth of oral history passed from generation to generation by the first peoples of Canada.

These first people migrated across long stretches of frozen ocean during the last ice age. Once settled, their culture thrived within North America until the arrival of Europeans.

In addition to exploiting the natives labour for commercial gain, the deadlier sin of the Europeans was introducing diseases never before seen in North America. Europeans also saw theirs as the dominant culture, so rather than trying to understand native culture, often imposed their own on the native people. The combination of these and other disruptions were devastating, leading to tremendous social problems within First Nations communities.

Although there still remain unresolved issues resulting from ignorance and misunderstanding, there has also been progress toward reconciliation by the descendants of both groups.

11th-16th Centuries

1000
Around this time, the Norse built the settlement at L’Anse-aux-Meadows (northern tip of Newfoundland).

1497
Giovanni Caboto (John Cabot) claims Cape Breton Island (or Newfoundland) for England.

1534
Jacques Cartier explores Gulf of St. Lawrence.

1541
Cartier and Sieur de Roberval found a settlement on St. Lawrence River, but it fails.

1583
Sir Humphrey Gilbert, brother-in-law of Sir Walter Raleigh, sails for Newfoundland from England.

1588
English fishing fleet delays sailing to Newfoundland to participate in the defeat of Spanish Armada.

1598
The Marquis de la Roche lands 40 convicts on Sable Island.