Canadians (French: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic, religious, and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants. Following the initial period of French and then the much larger British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of Indigenous, French, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada, and thus a Canadian identity. Canada has also been strongly influenced by its linguistic, geographic, and economic neighbour—the United States.

Canadian independence from the United Kingdom grew gradually over the course of many years since the formation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867. World War I and World War II in particular, gave rise to a desire among Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative independence was established with the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, and full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation of the constitution in 1982. Canada's nationality law closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom. Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development.

Flag of Canada (Pantone)
Total population
Canada: 37,314,442 by the Q1 of 2019[1]
Regions with significant populations
United States1,062,640[2]
Hong Kong300,000[2]
United Kingdom73,000[2]
United Arab Emirates40,000[4]
South Korea14,210[2]
New Zealand7,770[2]
Trinidad and Tobago5,000[2]
Primarily English and French
Numerous indigenous languages are also recognized
Various other languages
Primarily Christian (Protestantism and Catholicism)
Various other religions


As of 2010, Canadians make up only 0.5% of the world's total population,[7] having relied upon immigration for population growth and social development.[8] Approximately 41% of current Canadians are first- or second-generation immigrants,[9] and 20% of Canadian residents in the 2000s were not born in the country.[10] Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, nearly one-half of Canadians above the age of 15 will be foreign-born or have one foreign-born parent.[11] Indigenous peoples, according to the 2011 Canadian Census, numbered at 1,400,685 or 4.3% of the country's 33,476,688 population.[12]


While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the New France settlements, in present-day Quebec and Ontario; and Acadia, in present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, during the early part of the 17th century.[13][14]

Approximately 100 Irish-born families would settle the Saint Lawrence Valley by 1700, assimilating into the Canadien population and culture.[15][16] During the 18th and 19th century; immigration westward (to the area known as Rupert's Land) was carried out by "Voyageurs"; French settlers working for the North West Company; and by British settlers (English and Scottish) representing the Hudson's Bay Company, coupled with independent entrepreneurial woodsman called "Coureur des bois".[17] This arrival of newcomers led to the creation of the Métis, an ethnic group of mixed European and First Nations parentage.[18]

The British conquest of New France was preceded by a small number of Germans and Swedes who settled alongside the Scottish in Port Royal, Nova Scotia,[19] while some Irish immigrated to the Colony of Newfoundland.[20] In the wake of the British Conquest of 1760 and the Expulsion of the Acadians, many families from the British colonies in New England moved over into Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada, where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy terms. More settlers arrived during and after the American Revolutionary War, when approximately 60,000 United Empire Loyalists fled to British North America, a large portion of whom settled in New Brunswick.[21] After the War of 1812, British (including British army regulars), Scottish, and Irish immigration was encouraged throughout Rupert's Land, Upper Canada and Lower Canada.[22]

Between 1815 and 1850, some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies of British North America, mainly from the British Isles as part of the Great Migration of Canada.[23] These new arrivals included some Gaelic-speaking Highland Scots displaced by the Highland Clearances to Nova Scotia.[24] The Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s significantly increased the pace of Irish immigration to Prince Edward Island and the Province of Canada, with over 35,000 distressed individuals landing in Toronto in 1847 and 1848.[25][26] Descendants of Francophone and Anglophone northern Europeans who arrived in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are often referred to as Old Stock Canadians.[27][28]

Beginning in the late 1850s, the immigration of Chinese into the Colony of Vancouver Island and Colony of British Columbia peaked with the onset of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush.[29] The Chinese Immigration Act eventually placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants, in hopes of discouraging Chinese immigration after completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway.[30]

Permanent Residents admitted in 2017,
by top 10 source countries[31]
Rank Country Number Percentage
1 India 51,651 18
2 Philippines 40,857 14.3
3 China 30,279 10.6
4 Syria 12,044 4.2
5 United States of America 9,100 3.2
6 Pakistan 7,656 2.7
7 France 6,600 2.3
8 Nigeria 5,459 1.9
9 United Kingdom 5,293 1.8
10 Iraq 4,740 1.7
Top 10 Total 173,679 60.6
Other 112,800 39.4
Total 286,479 100

The population of Canada has consistently risen, doubling approximately every 40 years, since the establishment of the Canadian Confederation in 1867.[32] In the mid-to-late 19th century, Canada had a policy of assisting immigrants from Europe, including an estimated 100,000 unwanted "Home Children" from Britain.[33] Block settlement communities were established throughout western Canada between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some were planned and others were spontaneously created by the settlers themselves.[34] Canada was now receiving a large number of European immigrants, predominantly Italians, Germans, Scandinavians, Dutch, Poles, and Ukrainians.[35] Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Continuous journey regulation and Chinese Immigration Act) that had favoured British and other European immigrants were amended in the 1960s, opening the doors to immigrants from all parts of the world.[36] While the 1950s had still seen high levels of immigration by Europeans, by the 1970s immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, and Haitian.[37] During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Canada received many American Vietnam War draft dissenters.[38] Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Canada's growing Pacific trade brought with it a large influx of South Asians, who tended to settle in British Columbia.[39] Immigrants of all backgrounds tend to settle in the major urban centres.[40][41] The Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, are tolerant of immigrants.[42]

The majority of illegal immigrants come from the southern provinces of the People's Republic of China, with Asia as a whole, Eastern Europe, Caribbean, Africa, and the Middle East.[43] Estimates of numbers of illegal immigrants range between 35,000 and 120,000.[44]

Citizenship and diaspora

First official Canadian Citizenship ceremony at the Supreme Court building
Members of the first official Canadian Citizenship ceremony held at the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, January 3, 1947

Canadian citizenship is typically obtained by birth in Canada or by birth or adoption abroad when at least one biological parent or adoptive parent is a Canadian citizen who was born in Canada or naturalized in Canada (and did not receive citizenship by being born outside of Canada to a Canadian citizen).[45] It can also be granted to a permanent resident who lives in Canada for three out of four years and meets specific requirements.[46] Canada established its own nationality law in 1946, with the enactment of the Canadian Citizenship Act which took effect on January 1, 1947.[47] The Immigration and Refugee Protection Act was passed by the Parliament of Canada in 2001 as Bill C-11, which replaced the Immigration Act of 1976 as the primary federal legislation regulating immigration.[48] Prior to the conferring of legal status on Canadian citizenship, Canada's naturalization laws consisted of a multitude of Acts beginning with the Immigration Act of 1910.[49]

According to Citizenship and Immigration Canada, there are three main classifications for immigrants: Family class (persons closely related to Canadian residents), Economic class (admitted on the basis of a point system that accounts for age, health and labour-market skills required for cost effectively inducting the immigrants into Canada's labour market) and Refugee class (those seeking protection by applying to remain in the country by way of the Canadian immigration and refugee law).[50] In 2008, there were 65,567 immigrants in the family class, 21,860 refugees, and 149,072 economic immigrants amongst the 247,243 total immigrants to the country.[9] Canada resettles over one in 10 of the world's refugees[51] and has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world.[52]

As of a 2010 report by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, there were 2.8 million Canadian citizens abroad.[53] This represents about 8% of the total Canadian population. Of those living abroad, the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Australia have the largest Canadian diaspora. Canadians in the United States constitute the greatest single expatriate community at over 1 million in 2009, representing 35.8% of all Canadians abroad.[54] Under current Canadian law, Canada does not restrict dual citizenship, but Passport Canada encourages its citizens to travel abroad on their Canadian passport so that they can access Canadian consular services.[55]

Ethnic ancestry

Counting both single and multiple responses, the most commonly identified ethnic origins were (2016)
Ethnic origin[56] % Population
Canadian[a] 32.32% 11,135,965
English 18.34% 6,320,085
Scottish 13.93% 4,799,010
French 13.55% 4,670,595
Irish 13.43% 4,627,000
German 9.64% 3,322,405
Chinese 5.13% 1,769,195
Italian 4.61% 1,587,970
First Nations[b] 4.43% 1,525,565
East Indian 3.99% 1,374,710
Ukrainian 3.95% 1,359,655
Dutch (Netherlands) 3.23% 1,111,655
Polish 3.21% 1,106,585

According to the 2016 census, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32% of the population),[a] followed by English (18.3%), Scottish (13.9%), French (13.6%), Irish (13.4%), German (9.6%), Chinese (5.1%), Italian (4.6%), First Nations (4.4%), Indian (4.0%), and Ukrainian (3.9%).[57] There are 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,525,565 people.[58] Canada's indigenous population is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed an indigenous identity in 2006. Another 22.3 percent of the population belonged to a non-indigenous visible minority.[59] In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were South Asian (5.6%), Chinese (5.1%), and Black (3.5%).[59] Between 2011 and 2016, the visible minority population rose by 18.4 percent.[59] In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) were members of visible minority groups.[60] Indigenous peoples are not considered a visible minority under the Employment Equity Act,[61] and this is the definition that Statistics Canada also uses.


A 1911 political cartoon on Canada's bicultural identity showing a flag combining symbols of Britain, France and Canada; titled "The next favor. 'A flag to suit the minority.'"

Canadian culture is primarily a Western culture, with influences by First Nations and other cultures. It is a product of its ethnicities, languages, religions, political, and legal system(s). Canada has been shaped by waves of migration that have combined to form a unique blend of art, cuisine, literature, humour, and music.[62] Today, Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism rather than cultural assimilation.[63] In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a Quebec culture distinct from English Canadian culture.[64] However, as a whole, Canada is a cultural mosaic: a collection of several regional, indigenous, and ethnic subcultures.[65][66]

Canadian government policies such as official bilingualism; publicly funded health care; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty; strict gun control; and, most recently, legalizing same-sex marriage and cannabis are social indicators of Canada's political and cultural values.[67][68] American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States and worldwide.[69] The Government of Canada has also influenced culture with programs, laws, and institutions. It has created Crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media and has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content.[70]

Outside Union Station
Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Pirelli in Toronto; four identical sculptures are located in Buffalo City, Changchun, Sarajevo, and Sydney

Canadian culture has historically been influenced by European culture and traditions, especially British and French, and by its own indigenous cultures. Most of Canada's territory was inhabited and developed later than other European colonies in the Americas, with the result that themes and symbols of pioneers, trappers, and traders were important in the early development of the Canadian identity.[71] First Nations played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting exploration of the continent during the North American fur trade.[72] The British conquest of New France in the mid-1700s brought a large Francophone population under British Imperial rule, creating a need for compromise and accommodation.[73] The new British rulers left alone much of the religious, political, and social culture of the French-speaking habitants, guaranteeing through the Quebec Act of 1774 the right of the Canadiens to practise the Catholic faith and to use French civil law (now Quebec law).[74]

The Constitution Act, 1867 was designed to meet the growing calls of Canadians for autonomy from British rule, while avoiding the overly strong decentralization that contributed to the Civil War in the United States.[75] The compromises made by the Fathers of Confederation set Canadians on a path to bilingualism, and this in turn contributed to an acceptance of diversity.[76][77]

The Canadian Forces and overall civilian participation in the First World War and Second World War helped to foster Canadian nationalism,[78][79] however, in 1917 and 1944, conscription crisis' highlighted the considerable rift along ethnic lines between Anglophones and Francophones.[80] As a result of the First and Second World Wars, the Government of Canada became more assertive and less deferential to British authority.[81] With the gradual loosening of political ties to the United Kingdom and the modernization of Canadian immigration policies, 20th-century immigrants with African, Caribbean and Asian nationalities have added to the Canadian identity and its culture.[82] The multiple-origins immigration pattern continues today, with the arrival of large numbers of immigrants from non-British or non-French backgrounds.[83]

Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy of the government during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s.[84] The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology, because of its public emphasis on the social importance of immigration.[85] Multiculturalism is administered by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration and reflected in the law through the Canadian Multiculturalism Act[86] and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.[87]


Religion in Canada (2011 National Household Survey)[88]

  Catholic (38.7%)
  Other Christian (28.6%)
  Non-religious (23.9%)
  Islam (3.2%)
  Hinduism (1.5%)
  Sikhism (1.4%)
  Buddhism (1.1%)
  Judaism (1.0%)
  Other religions (0.6%)

Canada as a nation is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of groups, beliefs and customs.[89] The preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms references "God", and the monarch carries the title of "Defender of the Faith".[90] However, Canada has no official religion, and support for religious pluralism (Freedom of religion in Canada) is an important part of Canada's political culture.[91][92] With the role of Christianity in decline, it having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life,[93] commentators have suggested that Canada has come to enter a post-Christian period in a secular state,[94][95] with irreligion on the rise.[96] The majority of Canadians consider religion to be unimportant in their daily lives, but still believe in God.[97] The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and within the state.[98]

The 2011 Canadian census reported that 67.3% of Canadians identify as being Christians; of this number, Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population.[88] The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (accounting for 6.1% of Canadians); followed by Anglicans (5.0%), and Baptists (1.9%).[88] About 23.9% of Canadians declare no religious affiliation, including agnostics, atheists, humanists, and other groups.[88] The remaining are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is Islam (3.2%), followed by Hinduism (1.5%), Sikhism (1.4%), Buddhism (1.1%), and Judaism (1.0%).[88]

Before the arrival of European colonists and explorers, First Nations followed a wide array of mostly animistic religions.[99] During the colonial period, the French settled along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, specifically Latin Rite Roman Catholics, including a number of Jesuits dedicated to converting indigenous peoples; an effort that eventually proved successful.[100] The first large Protestant communities were formed in the Maritimes after the British conquest of New France, followed by American Protestant settlers displaced by the American Revolution.[101] The late nineteenth century saw the beginning of a substantive shift in Canadian immigration patterns. Large numbers of Irish and southern European immigrants were creating new Roman Catholic communities in English Canada.[20] The settlement of the west brought significant Eastern Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe and Mormon and Pentecostal immigrants from the United States.[102]

The earliest documentation of Jewish presence in Canada occurs in the 1754 British Army records from the French and Indian War.[103] In 1760, General Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst attacked and won Montreal for the British. In his regiment there were several Jews, including four among his officer corps, most notably Lieutenant Aaron Hart who is considered the father of Canadian Jewry.[103] The Islamic, Jains, Sikh, Hindu, and Buddhist communities—although small—are as old as the nation itself. The 1871 Canadian Census (first "Canadian" national census) indicated thirteen Muslims among the populace,[104] with approximately 5000 Sikh by 1908.[105] The first Canadian mosque was constructed in Edmonton, in 1938, when there were approximately 700 Muslims in Canada.[106] Buddhism first arrived in Canada when Japanese immigrated during the late 19th century.[107] The first Japanese Buddhist temple in Canada was built in Vancouver in 1905.[108] The influx of immigrants in the late 20th century, with Sri Lankan, Japanese, Indian and Southeast Asian customs, has contributed to the recent expansion of the Jain, Sikh, Hindu, and Buddhist communities.[109]


Bilinguisme au Canada-fr
Approximately 98% of Canadians can speak English or French (2006)[110]
  English - 56.9%
  English and French (Bilingual) - 16.1%
  French - 21.3%
  Sparsely populated area ( <' 0.4 persons per km2)

A multitude of languages are used by Canadians, with English and French (the official languages) being the mother tongues of approximately 56% and 21% of Canadians, respectively.[111] As of the 2016 Census, just over 7.3 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (1,227,680 first-language speakers), Punjabi (501,680), Spanish (458,850), Tagalog (431,385), Arabic (419,895), German (384,040), and Italian (375,645).[111] Less than one percent of Canadians (just over 250,000 individuals) can speak an indigenous language. About half this number (129,865) reported using an indigenous language on a daily basis.[112] Additionally, Canadians speak several sign languages; the number of speakers is unknown of the most spoken ones, American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ),[113] as it is of Maritime Sign Language and Plains Sign Talk.[114] There are only 47 speakers of the Inuit sign language Inuiuuk.[115]

English and French are recognized by the Constitution of Canada as official languages.[116] All federal government laws are thus enacted in both English and French, with government services available in both languages.[116] Two of Canada's territories give official status to indigenous languages. In Nunavut, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun are official languages, alongside the national languages of English and French, and Inuktitut is a common vehicular language in territorial government.[117] In the Northwest Territories, the Official Languages Act declares that there are eleven different languages: Chipewyan, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, North Slavey, South Slavey, and Tłįchǫ.[118] Multicultural media are widely accessible across the country and offer specialty television channels, newspapers, and other publications in many minority languages.[119]

In Canada, as elsewhere in the world of European colonies, the frontier of European exploration and settlement tended to be a linguistically diverse and fluid place, as cultures using different languages met and interacted. The need for a common means of communication between the indigenous inhabitants and new arrivals for the purposes of trade, and (in some cases) intermarriage, led to the development of Mixed languages.[120] Languages like Michif, Chinook Jargon, and Bungi creole tended to be highly localized and were often spoken by only a small number of individuals who were frequently capable of speaking another language.[121] Plains Sign Talk—which functioned originally as a trade language used to communicate internationally and across linguistic borders—reached across Canada, the United States, and into Mexico.[122]

See also


  1. ^ a b All citizens of Canada are classified as "Canadians" as defined by Canada's nationality laws. However, "Canadian" as an ethnic group has since 1996 been added to census questionnaires for possible ancestral origin or descent. "Canadian" was included as an example on the English questionnaire and "Canadien" as an example on the French questionnaire. "The majority of respondents to this selection are from the eastern part of the country that was first settled. Respondents generally are visibly European (Anglophones and Francophones), however no-longer self identify with their ethnic ancestral origins. This response is attributed to a multitude or generational distance from ancestral lineage.
    Source 1: Kate Bezanson; Michelle Webber (2016). Rethinking Society in the 21st Century, Fourth Edition: Critical Readings in Sociology. Canadian Scholars’ Press. pp. 455–456. ISBN 978-1-55130-936-1.
    Source 2: Barry Edmonston; Eric Fong (2011). The Changing Canadian Population. McGill-Queen's Press. pp. 294–296. ISBN 978-0-7735-3793-4.
  2. ^ The category "North American Indian" includes respondents who indicated that their ethnic origins were from a Canadian First Nation, or another non-Canadian North American aboriginal group (excluding Inuit and Métis).
    Source: "How Statistics Canada Identifies Aboriginal Peoples". Statistics Canada. Retrieved January 16, 2011.


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Further reading

External links

American Canadians

American Canadians are Canadian citizens of American descent, or Canadians who identify to some extent with American society. The term is most often used to refer to Canadians who either migrated from or have ancestry in the United States.

Arab Canadians

Arab Canadians (French: les Canadiens Arabes) come from all of the countries of the Arab world. According to the 2016 Census there were 948,330 Canadians who claimed Arab ancestry. According to the 2011 Census there were 661,750 Canadians who claimed full or partial ancestry from an Arabic-speaking country. The large majority of the Canadians of Arab origin population live in either Ontario or Quebec. Not all Canadians from the Arab world are Arabs, there are also communities of Armenians, Assyrians, Copts, Kurds, Turcomans, Berbers, and those who espouse a Phoenician or Aramean heritage (see Phoenicianism and Arameanism).

Asian Canadians

Asian Canadians are Canadians who can trace their ancestry back to the continent of Asia or Asian people. The term refers to a group of people that includes diverse populations, who have their Progenitor from East Asia, Southeast Asia, or South Asia. Canadians with Asian ancestry comprise the largest and fastest growing visible minority group in Canada, with roughly 14.6% of the Canadian population. Most Asian Canadians are concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Ontario, the Greater Vancouver area, Calgary, and other large Canadian cities.

Asian Canadians considered visible minorities may be classified as East Asian Canadian (e.g. Chinese Canadians, Korean Canadians, Japanese Canadians); Southeast Asian Canadian (e.g. Vietnamese Canadians, Filipino Canadians); South Asian Canadians (e.g. Sri Lankan Canadians, Bangladeshi Canadians, Indian Canadians, Pakistani Canadians).

Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada, also called the Atlantic provinces, is the region of Canada comprising the four provinces located on the Atlantic coast, excluding Quebec: the three Maritime provinces – New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – and the easternmost province of Newfoundland and Labrador. The population of the four Atlantic provinces in 2016 was about 2,300,000 on half a million km2. The provinces combined had an approximate GDP of $121.888 billion in 2011.

Black Canadians

Black Canadians is a designation used for people of full or partial native African descent, who are citizens or permanent residents of Canada. The majority of Black Canadians are of Caribbean origin, though the population also consists of African-American immigrants and their descendants (including Black Nova Scotians), as well as many native African immigrants.Black Canadians often draw a distinction between those of Afro-Caribbean ancestry and those of other African roots. The term African Canadian is occasionally used by some Black Canadians who trace their heritage to the first slaves brought by British and French colonists to the North American mainland. Promised freedom by the British during the American Revolutionary War, thousands of Black Loyalists were resettled by the Crown in Canada afterward, such as Thomas Peters. In addition, an estimated ten to thirty thousand fugitive slaves reached freedom in Canada from the Southern United States during the antebellum years, aided by people along the Underground Railroad.

Many Black people of Caribbean origin in Canada reject the term African Canadian as an elision of the uniquely Caribbean aspects of their heritage, and instead identify as Caribbean Canadian (French: Canadien des Caraïbes). Unlike in the United States, where African American has become a widely used term, in Canada controversies associated with distinguishing African or Caribbean heritage have resulted in the term Black Canadian being widely accepted there.Black Canadians have contributed to many areas of Canadian culture. Many of the first visible minorities to hold high public offices have been Black, including Michaëlle Jean, Donald Oliver, Stanley G. Grizzle, Rosemary Brown and Lincoln Alexander, in turn opening the door for other minorities. Black Canadians form the third-largest visible minority group in Canada, after South Asian and Chinese Canadians.

Chinese Canadians

Chinese Canadians are Canadians of full or partial Chinese ancestry which includes Canadian-born Chinese. They comprise a subgroup of East Asian Canadians which is a further subgroup of Asian Canadians. Demographic research tends to include immigrants from Mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau as well as overseas Chinese who have immigrated from South East Asia and South America into the broadly defined Chinese Canadian category as StatsCan refers to Taiwanese Canadians as a separate group apart from Chinese Canadians.Canadians of Chinese descent make up about five percent of the Canadian population, or about 1.76 million people as of 2016. The Chinese Canadian community is the largest ethnic group of Asian Canadians, consisting approximately 40% of the Asian Canadian population. Most Canadians of Chinese descent are concentrated within the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia.

English Canadians

English Canadians or Anglo-Canadians (French: Canadiens anglais), refers to either Canadians of English ethnic origin and heritage or to English-speaking or Anglophone, Canadians of any ethnic origin; it is used primarily in contrast with French Canadians. Canada is an officially bilingual state, with English and French official language communities. Immigrant cultural groups ostensibly integrate into one or both of these communities, but often retaining elements of their original cultures. The term English-speaking Canadian is sometimes used interchangeably with English Canadian.

Although many English-speaking Canadians have strong historical roots traceable to England or other parts of the British Isles, the population as a whole belongs to a multitude of ethnic backgrounds. They or their ancestors came from various European, Asian, Caribbean, African, Latin American, and Pacific Island cultures, as well as French Canada and North American Aboriginal groups. As such, although the office of the Governor General is said to alternate between "French" and "English" persons, two recent Governors General (Adrienne Clarkson, an English-speaking Chinese Canadian; and Michaëlle Jean, a French-speaking Haitian Canadian) show that this refers to language and not culture or ethnicity.

In addition to the terms "English Canadian" and "Canadian", the terms "Anglophone Canadian" and "Anglo-Canadian" are also used.

European Canadians

European Canadians (French: les Canadiens Européens), also known as White Canadians and Euro-Canadians, are Canadians with ancestry from Europe. They form the largest panethnic group within Canada.

The French were the first Europeans to establish a continuous presence in what is now Canada. Hélène Desportes is considered the first white child born in New France. She was born circa 1620, to Pierre Desportes (born Lisieux, Normandie, France) and Françoise Langlois.In the 2016 census, the largest European ancestry groups were British Isles origins (11,211,850 including 6,320,085 English), French (4,680,820), Scottish (4,799,005), Irish (4,627,000), German (3,322,405), Italian (1,587,965). However, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is "Canadian" (accounting for 11,135,965 of the population). Since 1996, "Canadian" as an ethnic group has been added to census questionnaires for possible ancestry, which likely caused English Canadians, British Canadians and French Canadians to become severely underrepresented. The grouping is similar to that of "American" in neighbouring United States and is most commonly espoused by European Canadians whose ancestors have been some of the earliest European settlers of what is now Canada, to the point where they no longer feel a connection to their countries of origin. In the 2011 National Household Survey Profile, 10,563,805 people (32.1%) chose "Canadian" as their ethnic group, making it the single largest group in the country.

Filipino Canadians

Filipino Canadians (French: Canadiens philippins; Filipino: Pilipinong Kanadyano; Baybayin: ᜉᜒᜎᜒᜉᜒᜈᜓ ᜃᜈᜇᜒᜌᜈᜓ) are Canadians of Filipino descent. Filipino Canadians are the third largest subgroup of the overseas Filipinos and one of the fastest growing groups in Canada.

Canada only had a small population of Filipinos until the late 20th century. As of the 2016 Canadian Census, there are 851,410 people of Filipino descent living in Canada, most living in urbanized areas. This number is growing yearly due to Canada's more liberal immigration laws to compensate for their low population growth. Filipino Canadians are the third-largest Asian Canadian group in the nation after the Indian and Chinese communities. They are also the largest Southeast Asian group in the country. Between the 2011 Census and the 2016 Census, the Filipino community in Canada grew from 662,605 to 851,410, a growth of about 27%, compared to the rest of Canada which grew by 5% in the same time period.

French Canadians

French Canadians (also referred to as Franco-Canadians or Canadiens; French: Canadien(ne)s français(es)) are an ethnic group who trace their ancestry to French colonists who settled in Canada from the 17th century onward. Today, people of French heritage make up the majority of native speakers of French in Canada, who in turn account for about 22 per cent of the country's total population. The majority of French Canadians reside in Quebec, where they constitute the majority of the province's population, although French-Canadian and francophone minority communities exist in all other Canadian provinces and territories as well. Besides the Québécois, distinct French speaking ethnic groups in Canada include the Acadians of the Maritime Provinces, the Brayons of New Brunswick, and the Métis of the Prairie Provinces, among other smaller groups.During the mid-18th century, Canadian colonists born in French Canada expanded across North America and colonized various regions, cities, and towns; the French Canadian settlers originated primarily from districts in the west of France, such as Normandy, Perche, Beauce, Maine, Anjou, Touraine, Poitou, Aunis, Angoumois, Saintonge and Gascony.Today, French Canadians live across North America. Most French Canadians reside in Quebec, and are more commonly referred to as Quebecers or Québécois, although smaller communities exist throughout Canada and in the United States. Between 1840 and 1930, roughly 900,000 French Canadians emigrated to the United States, mostly to the New England region. Acadians (Acadiens), who reside in the Maritimes, may be included among the French Canadian group in linguistic contexts, but are considered a separate group from the French Canadians in a cultural sense due to their distinct history, much of which predates the admission of the Maritime Provinces to Canadian Confederation in 1867.

French Canadians (including those who are no longer French-speaking) constitute the second largest ethnic group in Canada, behind those of English ancestry, and ahead of those of Scottish and Irish heritage; there is nevertheless a distinction between those identifying as French Canadians and those simply identifying as French. In total, those whose ethnic origins are French Canadian, French, Québécois and Acadian number up to 11.9 million people or comprising 33.78% of the Canadian population.Not all francophone Canadians are of French-Canadian descent or heritage, as the body of French language speakers in Canada also includes significant immigrant communities from other francophone countries such as Haiti, Cameroon, Algeria, Tunisia or Vietnam — and not all French Canadians are francophone, as a significant number of people who have French Canadian ethnic roots are native English speakers.

German Canadians

German Canadians (German: Deutsch-Kanadier or Deutschkanadier) are Canadian citizens of ethnic German ancestry. The 2016 Canadian census put the number of Canadians of German ethnicity at over 3.3 million. Some immigrants came from what is today Germany, while larger numbers came from German settlements in Eastern Europe and Russia; others came from former parts of the German Confederation like the Austrian Empire and some emigrated from Switzerland.

Indigenous peoples in Canada

Indigenous peoples in Canada, also known as Aboriginal Canadians (French: Canadiens Autochtones), are the indigenous peoples within the boundaries of Canada. They comprise the First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Although "Indian" is a term still commonly used in legal documents, the descriptors "Indian" and "Eskimo" have somewhat fallen into disuse in Canada and some consider them to be pejorative. Similarly, "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act, 1982, though in some circles that word is also falling into disfavour.Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are some of the earliest known sites of human habitation in Canada. The Paleo-Indian Clovis, Plano and Pre-Dorset cultures pre-date current indigenous peoples of the Americas. Projectile point tools, spears, pottery, bangles, chisels and scrapers mark archaeological sites, thus distinguishing cultural periods, traditions and lithic reduction styles.

The characteristics of Canadian Aboriginal culture included permanent settlements, agriculture, civic and ceremonial architecture, complex societal hierarchies and trading networks. The Métis culture of mixed blood originated in the mid-17th century when First Nation and Inuit people married Europeans. The Inuit had more limited interaction with European settlers during that early period. Various laws, treaties, and legislation have been enacted between European immigrants and First Nations across Canada. Aboriginal Right to Self-Government provides opportunity to manage historical, cultural, political, health care and economic control aspects within first people's communities.

As of the 2016 census, Aboriginal peoples in Canada totalled 1,673,785 people, or 4.9% of the national population, with 977,230 First Nations people, 587,545 Métis and 65,025 Inuit. 7.7% of the population under the age of 14 are of Aboriginal descent. There are over 600 recognized First Nations governments or bands with distinctive cultures, languages, art, and music. National Indigenous Peoples Day recognizes the cultures and contributions of Aboriginal peoples to the history of Canada. First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples of all backgrounds have become prominent figures and have served as role models in the Aboriginal community and help to shape the Canadian cultural identity.


Indo-Canadians or Indian Canadians are Canadian citizens whose heritage belongs to any of the many ethnic groups of Republic of India. The term East Indian is sometimes used to distinguish people of ancestral origin from India in order to avoid confusion with the First Nations of Canada. Statistics Canada specifically uses the term Asian Indian to refer to people who trace their origins from the modern day Republic of India.

Indian Canadians are significantly more likely than the Canadian average to have a university degree, and most Indians in Canada are socio-economically middle class and affluent. In 2001, 24% of seniors of East Indian origin lived with relatives, such as the family of a son or daughter, while only 5% of all seniors in Canada lived with relatives.According to Statistics Canada, Indo-Canadians are one of the fastest growing communities in Canada, making up the second largest non-European ethnic group in the country after Chinese Canadians. The highest concentrations of Indo-Canadians are found in the provinces of Ontario and British Columbia, followed by growing communities in Alberta and Quebec as well, with the majority of them being foreign-born.

Japanese Canadians

Japanese Canadians (日系カナダ人, Nikkei Kanadajin, French: Canadiens japonais) are Canadian citizens of Japanese ancestry. Japanese Canadians are mostly concentrated in Western Canada, especially in the province of British Columbia, which hosts the largest Japanese community in the country with the majority of them living in and around Vancouver. In 2016, there were 121,485 Japanese Canadians throughout Canada .

Korean Canadians

Korean Canadians are Canadians who are of full or partial Korean descent, It also includes Canadian-born Koreans. According to South Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, there were 240,942 ethnic Koreans or people of Korean descent in Canada as of 2017, making them the fourth-largest Korean diaspora population (behind Koreans in China, Koreans in the United States, Koreans in Japan and ahead of Koreans in Russia, Koreans in Uzbekistan and Koreans in Australia).

Latin American Canadians

Latin American Canadians (French: Canadiens d'Amérique latine) are Canadians who are descendants of people from countries of Latin America. The majority of Latin American Canadians are multilingual, primarily speaking Spanish or Portuguese. Most are fluent in one or both of Canada's two official languages, English and French. Spanish, Portuguese and French are Romance languages and share some similarities in morphology and syntax.

Latin American Canadians have made distinguished contributions to Canada in all major fields, including politics, the military, music, philosophy, sports, business and economy, and science.

The largest Latin American immigrant groups in Canada are Mexican Canadians, Colombian Canadians and Salvadoran Canadians.

Latin Americans comprise a heterogeneous variation of ancestral and racial origins that span from South and North America to Europe, Africa, and Asia. Therefore, a Latin American can be of any race, but the most frequent races found in the region are Mestizos, Whites, Indigenous Americans, Blacks, and Asians

Montreal Canadiens

The Montreal Canadiens (French: Les Canadiens de Montréal) are a professional ice hockey team based in Montreal, Quebec. They are members of the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL).

The club's official name is le Club de hockey Canadien. The team is frequently referred to in English and French as the Habs. French nicknames for the team include Les Canadiens (or Le Canadien), Le Bleu-Blanc-Rouge, La Sainte-Flanelle, Le Tricolore, Les Glorieux (or Nos Glorieux), Le CH, Le Grand Club and Les Habitants (from which "Habs" is derived).

Founded in 1909, the Canadiens are the longest continuously operating professional ice hockey team worldwide, and the only existing NHL club to predate the founding of the NHL. One of the oldest North American professional sports franchises, the Canadiens' history predates that of every other Canadian franchise outside football as well as every American franchise outside baseball and the National Football League's Arizona Cardinals. The franchise is one of the "Original Six" teams, a description used for the teams that made up the NHL from 1942 until the 1967 expansion. The team's championship season in 1992–93 was the last time a Canadian team won the Stanley Cup.The Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup more times than any other franchise. They have won 24 Stanley Cups, 23 of them since the founding of the NHL and 22 of them since 1927, when NHL teams became the only ones to compete for the Stanley Cup. On a percentage basis, as of 2014, the franchise has won 25.3% of all Stanley Cup championships contested after the Challenge Cup era, making it the second most successful professional sports team of the traditional four major sports of Canada and the United States, behind only the Boston Celtics. The Canadiens also had the most championships by a team of any of the four major North American sports until the New York Yankees won their 25th World Series title in 1999.

Since 1996, the Canadiens have played their home games at Bell Centre, originally known as Molson Centre. The team previously played at the Montreal Forum which housed the team for seven decades and all but their first two Stanley Cup championships.

Tamil Canadians

Tamil Canadians are Canadians of Tamil ethnic origins mostly from Sri Lanka. From a population of fewer than 150 Tamils in 1983, it has become one of the largest visible minority population groups within the Greater Toronto Area. In the 1991 census, Tamils were the fastest-growing ethnic group in the city. Canada's Tamil population is thought to constitute the 2nd largest Sri Lankan diaspora in the world (London having the largest congregation of Tamils) with Toronto (having a Tamil ethnic population of 157,000 as of 2016) being home to the 2nd largest Tamil community outside of Asia.

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