Canada is derived from the word “kanata” which in Huron-Iroquois language means “village” or “settlement”.
The word kanata was first heard by Jacques Cartier while he was requesting directions to Quebec City, which in 1535, was the Indian village of Stadacona. Cartier expanded the use of the word Canada to include all lands overseen by Chief Donnacona.
By 1547 maps showed all land north of the St Lawrence River as Canada. The St. Lawrence River was actually called the “Rivière de Canada” until the early 1600’s.
The land along the river of Canada and the Gulf of St. Lawrence was still called Canada in 1616, but everything north was referred to as New France.
When explorers and fur traders mapped land in the west and south, “Canada” grew. Land included in “Canada” encompassed what is now the American Midwest, and some land as far south as Louisiana (which had different boundaries at that time).
In 1791, Canada became official with the naming of Upper and Lower Canada, they eventually amalgamated and became the Province of Canada.
On July 1st, 1867, the North America Act formed the Dominion of Canada which included New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec.
* 1870 – Manitoba and Northwest Territories joined the Dominion of Canada
* 1871 – British Columbia
* 1873 – Prince Edward Island
* 1898 – Yukon entered Confederation
* 1905 – Saskatchewan and Alberta join and the Dominion of Canada now stretches from “sea to shining sea”.
* 1931 Canada became an independent nation.
* 1949 – Newfoundland joins Canada
* 1977 – the Canadian Government extended Canada’s boundaries to include more of the Arctic Ocean and 200 nautical miles of shoreline.
* 1999 – Nunavut was created