Name of Canada

The name of Canada has been in use since the founding of the French colony of Canada in the 16th century. The name originates from a Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata (or canada) for "settlement", "village", or "land". It is pronounced /ˈkænədə/ in English and [kanadɑ] in standard Quebec French.[1] In Inuktitut, one of the official languages of the territory of Nunavut, the First Nations word (pronounced [kanata]) is used, with the Inuktitut syllabics ᑲᓇᑕ.

The first French colony of Canada, which formed one of several colonies within New France, was set up along the Saint Lawrence River and the northern shores of the Great Lakes. Later the area became two British colonies, called Upper Canada and Lower Canada until their union as the British Province of Canada in 1841. Upon Confederation in 1867, the name Canada was officially adopted for the new Dominion of Canada.

Dauphin Map of Canada - circa 1543 - Project Gutenberg etext 20110
The Dauphin Map of Canada, c. 1543, showing Cartier's discoveries


Map North America 1566
A map of North America ca. 1566, one of the first to include the name "Canada" (top right).

The name Canada is now generally accepted as originating from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata or canada, meaning "village" or "settlement".[2] Related translations include "land" or "town", with subsequent terminologies meaning "cluster of dwellings" or "collection of huts".[2][3] This explanation is historically documented in Jacques Cartier's Bref récit et succincte narration de la navigation faite en MDXXXV et MDXXXVI.[2]

Although the Laurentian language, which was spoken by the inhabitants of St. Lawrence Valley settlements such as Stadacona (modern-day Quebec City) and Hochelaga (modern-day Montreal) in the 16th century, is now extinct, it was closely related to other dialects of the Iroquoian languages, such as the Oneida and Mohawk languages. The word kaná:ta' still means "town" in Mohawk,[4] and related cognates include ganataje and iennekanandaa in the Onondaga and Seneca languages respectively.[2] Prior to archeological confirmation that the St. Lawrence Iroquois were a separate people from the Mohawk, most sources specifically linked the name's origin to the Mohawk word instead of the Laurentian one.[5]

Jacques Cartier 1934 issue-3c
A 1934 three-cent stamp commemorated the four-hundredth anniversary of the discovery of Canada by the French navigator, Jacques Cartier.

A widespread perception in Canadian folklore is that Cartier misunderstood the term "Canada" as the existing proper name of the Iroquois people's entire territory rather than the generic class noun for a town or village — for instance, the Historica Foundation of Canada's Heritage Minute film devoted to Cartier's landing at Hochelaga is scripted as having Cartier believe that "Kanata" or "Canada" was the established name of the entire country.[6] This is not supported by Cartier's own writings, however — in Bref récit, Cartier fully understands the actual meaning of the word ("They call a town Canada"),[7] and his earliest name for the wider territory is "le pays des Canadas" ("country of Canadas",[8] "land of Canadas" or "land of villages").

While the Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian origin for the name Canada is now widely accepted, other theories have been put forth in the past.

Portuguese or Spanish origin theory

The most common alternative theory suggested that the name originated when Portuguese or Spanish explorers, having explored the northern part of the continent and unable to find gold and silver, wrote cá nada ("nothing here" in Portuguese), acá nada, aqui nada or el cabo de nada ("Cape Nothing" in Spanish) on that part of their maps.[9] An alternative explanation favoured by philologist Marshall Elliott linked the name to the Spanish word "cañada", meaning "glen" or "valley".[10][11]

The earliest iterations of the Spanish "nothing here" theory stated that the explorers made the declaration upon visiting the Bay of Chaleur,[12] while later versions left out any identifying geographic detail.

The known Portuguese presence in modern Canadian territory, meanwhile, was located in Newfoundland and Labrador. Neither region is located anywhere near Iroquoian territory, and the name Canada does not appear on any Spanish or Portuguese maps of the North American coast that predate Cartier's visit.[11] No name for the Bay of Chaleur is attested at all in Spanish sources from that period, while the only name for Newfoundland attested in Portuguese sources is Terra Nova do Bacalhao, after the region's plentiful cod.

In most versions of the Iberian origin theory, the Spanish or Portuguese passed their name on to the Iroquois, who rapidly adopted it in place of their own prior word for a village;[11] however, no historical evidence for any such Iberian-Iroquoian interaction has ever actually been found.[11] Elliott's "valley" theory, conversely, was that the Spanish gave their name for the area directly to Cartier, who then entirely ignored or passed over the virtually identical Iroquoian word.[11] According to Elliott, Cartier never explicitly stated that there was a direct connection between canada or kanata as the Iroquoian word for "village" and Canada as the new name of the entire territory, and never accounted for the spelling difference between kanata and Canada—and thus the Spanish etymology had to be favoured because the spellings matched.[11] Notably, Cartier never wrote of having any awareness of any preexisting Spanish or Portuguese name for the region either, meaning that Elliott's allegation that the kanata derivation was not adequately supported by Cartier's own writing on the matter was also true of his own preferred theory.

Franciscan priest André Thevet claimed that the word derived from segada canada, an answer reportedly given by Spaniards in the St. Lawrence Valley area when asked what their purpose was; according to Thevet, the phrase meant that they were seeking land[13] or that they were hunting.[14]

Few academics subscribe to the Iberian origin theory today, although some Spanish or Portuguese historians continue to support it over an Iroquoian root.

Minor or humorous theories

British philologist B. Davies surmised that by the same process which initially saw the First Nations mislabelled as Indians, the country came to be named for the Carnata region of India or that region's Kannada ethnic group,[15] although his theory has attracted no significant support from other academics.[2]

Additional theories have attributed the name "Canada" to a word in an unspecified indigenous language for "mouth of the country" in reference to the Gulf of St. Lawrence,[2] to a Cree word for "neat or clean",[16] to a claimed Innu war cry of "kan-na-dun, Kunatun",[14] to a shared Cree and Innu word, "p'konata", which purportedly meant "without a plan" or "I don't know",[17] to a short-lived French colony purportedly established by a settler whose surname was Cane,[2] to Cartier's description elsewhere in his writings of Labrador as "the land God gave to Cain", or to a claim that the early French habitants demanded a "can a day" of spruce beer from the local intendant[2] (a claim easily debunked by the facts that the habitants would have been speaking French, not English, and that canning did not exist until the 19th century).

In their 1983 book The Anglo Guide to Survival in Québec, humourists Josh Freed and Jon Kalina tied the Iberian origin theory to the phrase nada mas caca ("nothing but shit").[18] No historian or linguist has ever analyzed this explanation as anything more than an obvious joke.


The demonym "Canadien" or "Canadian" used to refer exclusively to the indigenous groups who were native to the territory.[11] Its use was extended over time to the French settlers of New France, and later the English settlers of Upper Canada.[11]

New France

European explorer Jacques Cartier transcribed the word as "Canada" and was the first European to use the word to refer not only to the village of Stadacona but also to the neighbouring region and to the Saint Lawrence River, which he called rivière de Canada during his second voyage in 1535.[19][20] By the mid 1500s, European books and maps began referring to this region as Canada. Canada became the name of a colony in New France that stretched along the St. Lawrence River.[21][22] The terms "Canada" and "New France" were often used interchangeably during the colonial period.[21]

British North America

3p Castor Fleming 1851
An 1851 Province of Canada postage stamp, the 3 pence beaver ("Threepenny Beaver")

After the British conquest of New France (including ceding of the French colony, Canada) in 1763, the colony was renamed the Province of Quebec. Following the American revolution and the influx of United Empire Loyalists into Quebec, the colony was split on 26 December 1791 into Upper and Lower Canada, sometime being collectively known as "The Canadas", the first time that the name "Canada" was used officially, in the British regime.[23]

Some reports from the 1840s suggest that in that era, the word "Canada" was commonly pronounced "Kaugh-na-daugh" rather than its more contemporary pronunciation.[11]

Upper and Lower Canada were merged into one colony, the Province of Canada, in 1841, based on the recommendations of the Durham Report.[2] The former colonies were then known as Canada East and Canada West, and a single legislature was established with equal representation from each. Underpopulated Canada West opposed demands by Canada East for representation by population, but the roles reversed as Canada West's population surpassed the east's. The single colony remained governed in this way until 1 July 1867, often with coalition governments. A new capital city was being built at Ottawa, chosen in 1857 by Queen Victoria, and became a national capital.

Selection of the name Canada

Canada provinces 1867-1870
Map of Canada on July 1, 1867, showing the nation's provinces of Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia in the colour white

At the conferences held in London to determine the form of confederation that would unite the Province of Canada (now Ontario and Quebec), the Province of New Brunswick and the Province of Nova Scotia, a delegate from either Nova Scotia or New Brunswick proposed the name Canada in February 1867, and it was unanimously accepted by the other delegates. There appears to have been little discussion,[24] though other names were suggested.

Other proposed names

While the provinces' delegates spent little time, if any, in settling on Canada as the name for the new country, others proposed a variety of other names:[25][2]

  • Anglia – the medieval Latin name for England
  • Albionoria – 'Albion of the north'
  • Borealia – from borealis, the Latin word for 'northern'; compare with Australia
  • Cabotia – in honour of Italian explorer John Cabot, who explored the eastern coast of Canada for England
  • Colonia
  • Efisga – an acronym of English, French, Irish, Scottish, German, Aboriginal
  • Hochelaga – an old name for Montreal
  • Laurentia
  • Mesopelagia – 'land between the seas'
  • New Albion
  • Norland
  • Superior
  • Tupona – derived from The United Provinces of North America
  • Transatlantica
  • Ursalia – 'place of bears'
  • Vesperia – 'land of the evening star'
  • Victorialand – in honour of Queen Victoria

Walter Bagehot of The Economist newspaper in London argued that the new nation should be called Northland or Anglia instead of Canada.[26] On these names, the statesman Thomas D'Arcy McGee commented, "Now I would ask any honourable member of the House how he would feel if he woke up some fine morning and found himself, instead of a Canadian, a Tuponian or a Hochelegander?".[27]

Adoption of Dominion

Map of the British Empire under Queen Victoria at the end of the nineteenth century. "Dominions" refers to all territories belonging to the Crown.

During the Charlottetown Conference of 1864, John A. Macdonald, who later became the first Prime Minister of Canada, talked of "founding a great British monarchy", in connection with the British Empire. He advocated, in the fourth Canadian draft of the British North America Act, the name "Kingdom of Canada,"[28] in the text is said:

The word 'Parliament' shall mean the Legislature or Parliament of the Kingdom of Canada.

The word 'Kingdom' shall mean and comprehend the United Provinces of Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
The words 'Privy Council' shall mean such persons as may from time to time be appointed, by the Governor General, and sworn to aid and advise in the Government of the Kingdom.[29]

Canada's founders, led by Sir John A. Macdonald wished their new nation to be called the Kingdom of Canada, to "fix the monarchical basis of the constitution."[30] The governor general at the time, the Viscount Monck, supported the move to designate Canada a kingdom;[31] however, officials at the Colonial Office in London opposed this potentially "premature" and "pretentious" reference for a new country. They were also wary of antagonizing the United States, which had emerged from its Civil War as a formidable military power with unsettled grievances because British interests had sold ships to the Confederacy despite a blockade, and thus opposed the use of terms such as kingdom or empire to describe the new country.[32]

New Brunswick premier Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley suggested the term 'Dominion',[33] inspired by Psalm 72:8 (from the King James Bible): "He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth."[34] This is also echoed in Canada's motto: A Mari Usque Ad Mare (Latin for "from sea to sea").[35]

The term had been used for centuries to refer to the lands held by a monarch,[36] and had previously been adopted as titles for the Dominion of New England and the Dominion and Colony of Virginia. It continued to apply as a generic term for the major colonial possessions of the British Empire until well into the 20th century,[37] although Tilley and the other Fathers of Confederation broadened the meaning of the word 'dominion' to a "virtual synonym for sovereign state".[38] Its adoption as a title for Canada in 1867 served the purpose of upholding the monarchist principle in Canada; in a letter to Queen Victoria, Lord Carnarvon stated: "The North American delegates are anxious that the United Provinces should be designated as the 'Dominion of Canada.' It is a new title, but intended on their part as a tribute to the Monarchical principle which they earnestly desire to uphold.".[39]

Macdonald, however, bemoaned its adoption. In a letter to Lord Knutsford on the topic of the loss of the use of the word kingdom, Macdonald said:

1905 Canadian coat of arms postcard
Canadian post card from 1905.

A great opportunity was lost in 1867 when the Dominion was formed out of the several provinces…The declaration of all the B.N.A. provinces that they desired as one dominion to remain a portion of the Empire, showed what wise government and generous treatment would do, and should have been marked as an epoch in the history of England. This would probably have been the case had Lord Carnarvon, who, as colonial minister, had sat at the cradle of the new Dominion, remained in office. His ill-omened resignation was followed by the appointment of the late Duke of Buckingham, who had as his adviser the then Governor General, Lord Monck - both good men, certainly, but quite unable, from the constitution of their minds, to rise to the occasion. Had a different course been pursued, for instance, had united Canada been declared to be an auxiliary kingdom, as it was in the Canadian draft of the bill, I feel sure almost that the Australian colonies would, ere this, have been applying to be placed in the same rank as The Kingdom of Canada.[40][41]

He added as a postscript that it was adopted on the suggestion of British colonial ministers to avoid offending republican sensibilities in the United States:

P.S. On reading the above over I see that it will convey the impression that the change of title from Kingdom to Dominion was caused by the Duke of Buckingham. This is not so. It was made at the instance of Lord Derby, then foreign minister, who feared the first name would wound the sensibilities of the Yankees. I mentioned this incident in our history to Lord Beaconsfield at Hughenden in 1879, who said, 'I was not aware of the circumstance, but it is so like Derby, a very good fellow, but who lives in a region of perpetual funk.'[42]

Use of the term dominion was formalized in 1867 through Canadian Confederation. In the Constitution of Canada, namely the Constitution Act, 1867 (British North America Acts), the preamble of the Act indicates:

Whereas the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have expressed their Desire to be federally united into One Dominion under the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, with a Constitution similar in Principle to that of the United Kingdom....[43]

And section 2 indicates that the provinces:

... shall form and be One Dominion under the Name of Canada; and on and after that Day those Three Provinces shall form and be One Dominion under that Name accordingly.[43]

In J.S. Ewart's two volume work, The Kingdom Papers,[44][45] it is noted that the following names were considered for the union of British North America: "The United Colony of Canada", "the United Provinces of Canada", and "the Federated Provinces of Canada".[46] Ewart was also an ardent advocate for the formation of "the Republic of Canada", a position which was rarely expressed in those times.[47]

French terms for Dominion

The French translation of the 1867 British North America Act translated "One Dominion under the Name of Canada" as "une seule et même Puissance sous le nom de Canada" using Puissance (power) as a translation for dominion. Later the English loan-word dominion was also used in French.[48]

The Fathers of Confederation met at the Quebec Conference of 1864 to discuss the terms of this new union. One issue on the agenda was to determine the Union's "feudal rank" (see Resolution 71 of the Quebec Conference, 1864). The candidates for the classification of this new union were: "the Kingdom of Canada" (le Royaume du Canada), "the Realm of Canada" (le Royaume du Canada), "the Union of Canada" (l'Union du Canada), and "the Dominion of Canada" (le Dominion du Canada).

Use of Canada and Dominion of Canada

There are numerous references in United Kingdom Acts of Parliament to "the Dominion of Canada" and the British North America Act, 1867 referred to the formation of "one Dominion under the name of Canada".[49] Nonetheless, the term "Dominion of Canada" appears in the Constitution Act, 1871 — usage of which was "sanctioned"[50] — and both appear in other texts of the period, as well as on numerous Canadian banknotes before 1935.

Jubilee celebrations on Parliament Hill
Crowds on Parliament Hill celebrate Dominion Day 1927, the 60th jubilee of confederation

Until the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was commonly used to identify the country. As Canada acquired political authority and autonomy from the United Kingdom, the federal government began using simply Canada on state documents. The government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using 'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951.[51] The 1953 coronation of Queen Elizabeth dropped the term of dominion in her official title, and the UK replaced "dominion" with "realm" to refer to the Commonwealth countries. The 1982 Canada Act referred only to Canada, and the national holiday was renamed from Dominion Day to Canada Day. Section 4 of the 1867 BNA Act also declares that:

Unless it is otherwise expressed or implied, the Name Canada shall be taken to mean Canada as constituted under this Act.

and this has been interpreted to mean that the name of the country is simply Canada. No constitutional statute amends this name, and the subsequent Canada Act 1982 does not use the term dominion. Official sources of the United Nations system,[52][53] international organizations (such as the Organization of American States[54]), the European Union,[55] the United States,[56] and other polities with which Canada has official relations as a state consistently use Canada as the only official name, state that Canada has no long-form name, or that the formal name is simply Canada. No Canadian legal document states that the name of the country is anything other than Canada.[57]

The terms Dominion and Dominion of Canada are still considered to be appropriate, although arcane, titles for the country.[58][59][60] The federal government continues to produce publications and educational materials that specify the currency of these titles, although these publications are not themselves legal or official documents.[61][62][63] For instance, in 2008 the Canadian government registered the Maple Leaf Tartan, designed in 1964, with the Scottish Tartans Authority. The tartan's alternate name is "Dominion of Canada."[64][65]

The terms Dominion of Canada and Dominion have also been used to distinguish contemporary (post-1867) Canada from either the earlier Province of Canada or from the even earlier The Canadas. The terms have also been used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though in this usage "federal" has replaced "dominion". For example, The Canadian Almanac stopped using Dominion of Canada in 1964.[66]

See also


  1. ^ In standard French of France, it is pronounced [kanada] and this is an alternative standard pronunciation in Quebec French, but [kanadɔ] are considered informal in Quebec French:
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Rayburn 2001, pp. 14–17.
  3. ^ Hawkins, Alfred; John Charlton Fisher (1834). "7". Hawkins's Picture of Quebec: With Historical Recollections. Printed for the proprietor by Neilson and Cowan. p. 111. in the note of Charlevoix, Nouvelle France, volume the first, page nine, of the quarto edition, and repeated in "Beautés de l'Histoire du Canada" affords the real solution of the difficulty: "Quelqu'uns derivent ce nom du mot Iroquois Kannata qui se prononce Cannada, et signifie un amas de cabanes;"–"Some derive this name from the Iroquois word Kannata, pronounced Cannada, signifying a collection of huts."
  4. ^ Mithun 1999, p. 312.
  5. ^ Johansen 1999, p. 49.
  6. ^ "Heritage Minutes: Jacques Cartier" Archived 2013-10-04 at the Wayback Machine. Historica Foundation of Canada.
  7. ^ Francis, Jones & Smith 2009, p. 27.
  8. ^ Cook, Ramsay (2017). The Voyages of Jacques Cartier. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781442658042. Archived from the original on February 2, 2017.
  9. ^ John George Hodgins (1858). The Geography and History of British America, and of the Other Colonies of the Empire: To which are Added a Sketch of the Various Indian Tribes of Canada, and Brief Biographical Notices of Eminent Persons Connected with the History of Canada. Maclear & Company. p. 51. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.
  10. ^ "Further Conjectures as to the Origin of the Name 'Canada'". The New York Times, September 5, 1908.
  11. ^ a b c d e f g h i Orkin 2010, pp. 38-43.
  12. ^ Thomas Jefferys, The Conduct of the French, with Regard to Nova Scotia. T. Jefferys (London), 1754.
  13. ^ Gervais Carpin, Histoire d'un mot: l'ethnonyme "canadien" de 1535-1691. Les Éditions de Septentrion, 1995. ISBN 9782894480366. p. 50.
  14. ^ a b Olive Dickason, Le mythe du sauvage. Les Éditions de Septentrion, 1993. ISBN 9782921114967. p. 298.
  15. ^ Canadian Naturalist and Geologist, December 1861. p. 432.
  16. ^ John Maclean, Canadian Savage Folk: The Native Tribes of Canada. C. W. Coates, 1986.
  17. ^ Joseph Graham, Naming the Laurentians: A History of Place Names 'up North'. Les Éditions Main Street, 2005. ISBN 9780973958607. p. 65
  18. ^ Josh Freed and Jon Kalina, The Anglo Guide to Survival in Québec. Eden Press, 1983. ISBN 978-0920792339. p. 89.
  19. ^ Marsh 1999, p. 355.
  20. ^ Roger E. Riendeau (2007). A Brief History of Canada. Infobase Publishing. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-4381-0822-3. Archived from the original on February 17, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Warkentin & Podruchny 2001, p. 234.
  22. ^ MCC. "Le territoire Archived 2008-09-20 at the Wayback Machine", in La Nouvelle-France. Ressources françaises, Ministère de la Culture et de la Communication (France), 1998, retrieved 2 August 2008
  23. ^ "Canadian Heritage - Origin of the Name - Canada". April 27, 2011. Archived from the original on October 12, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  24. ^ Creighton, Donald. 1956. The Road to Confederation. Houghton Mifflin: Boston; p. 421.
  25. ^ "How Canada Got Its Name — Origin of the Name Canada". Archived from the original on December 7, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  26. ^ Moore, Christopher. 1997. 1867: How the Fathers Made a Deal. McClelland and Stewart: Toronto; p. 214.
  27. ^ John Robert Colombo (June 1, 2001). 1000 Questions About Canada: Places, People, Things, and Ideas : A Question-And-Answer Book on Canadian Facts and Culture. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 335. ISBN 978-0-88882-232-1. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.
  28. ^ Farthing, John; Freedom Wears a Crown; Toronto, 1957
  29. ^ Pope, Joseph; Confederation; pg. 177
  30. ^ George M. Wrong; H. H. Langton (2009). The Chronicles of Canada: Volume VIII - The Growth of Nationality. Fireship Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-1-934757-51-2. Archived from the original on June 29, 2014. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  31. ^ Hubbard, R.H.; Rideau Hall; McGill-Queen's University Press; Montreal and London; 1977; p. 9
  32. ^ R. Douglas Francis; Richard Jones, Donald B. Smith, R. D. Francis; Richard Jones; Donald B. Smith (2009). Journeys: A History of Canada. Cengage Learning. p. 246. ISBN 978-0-17-644244-6. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  33. ^ Merriam-Webster Dictionary: Main Entry: do·min·ion; Function: noun; Etymology: Middle English dominioun, from Middle French dominion, modification of Latin dominium, from dominus; 4 often capitalized : a self-governing nation of the Commonwealth of Nations other than the United Kingdom that acknowledges the British monarch as chief of state
  34. ^ "Sir Samuel Leonard Tilley" Archived 2007-10-01 at the Wayback Machine Library and Archives Canada.
  35. ^ Reingard M. Nischik (2008). History of Literature in Canada: English-Canadian and French-Canadian. Camden House. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-57113-359-5. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.
  36. ^ Treaty of Utrecht 1713 "Moreover, the most Christian King promises, as well in his own name, as in that of his heirs and successors, that they will at not time whatever disturb or give any molestation to the Queen of Great Britain, her heirs and successors, descended from the aforesaid Protestant line, who possess the crown of Great Britain, and the dominions belonging therunto."
  37. ^ "... on the 23rd of April 1895, Tongaland was declared by proclamation to be added to the dominions of Queen Victoria ... " (Wikisource "Africa" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). 1911. p. 343.)
  38. ^ Delisle, Jean. "Through the Lens of History: Translating dominion as puissance". Government of Canada. Archived from the original on December 24, 2013. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  39. ^ "The Prince of Wales Royal Visit 2001, Quiz (Kids)". Canadian Heritage. January 9, 2009. Archived from the original on June 16, 2008. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  40. ^ Arthur Bousfield; Garry Toffoli (1991). Royal Observations: Canadians & Royalty. Dundurn Press Ltd. p. 152. ISBN 978-1-55002-076-2. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.
  41. ^ Joseph Pope (1894). Memoirs of the Right Honourable Sir John Alexander Macdonald, G. C. B., first Prime Minister of the Dominion of Canada. E. Arnold. p. 321.
  42. ^ "Senator Cools congratulates Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on her Forty-Seventh Anniversary of Accession to Throne, Feb 11, 1999". Archived from the original on April 25, 2012. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  43. ^ a b Dennis Ambrose O'Sullivan (1887). Government in Canada: The principles and institutions of our federal and provincial constitutions. The B. N. A. act, 1867, compared with the United States Constitution, with a sketch of the constitutional history of Canada. Carswell & co. p. 309. Archived from the original on March 19, 2015.
  44. ^ Ewart 1912–1917, p. 331
  45. ^ Ewart 1912–1917, p. 393
  46. ^ Ewart 1912–1917, pp. 372–393; as per "Rank and Name", pp. 374–381.
  47. ^ Ewart 1912–1917, Imperial Projects and the Republic of Canada, pp. 262–393.
  48. ^ Le Petit Robert 1: dictionnaire de la langue française, 1990.
  49. ^ Commonwealth and Colonial Law by Kenneth Roberts-Wray, London, Stevens, 1966. P. 17 (direct quote, word for word)
  50. ^ Martin, Robert. 1993. Eugene Forsey Memorial Lecture: A Lament for British North America. Archived 2005-10-17 at the Wayback Machine The Machray Review. Prayer Book Society of Canada.—A summative piece about nomenclature and pertinent history with abundant references.
  51. ^ "November 8, 1951 (21st Parliament, 5th Session)". Retrieved April 9, 2019.
  52. ^ "The UN Terminology website "which holds records for each country containing the short and formal names in the six UN official languages, is the successor to UN Terminology". United Nations Multilingual Terminology Database (UNTERM.UN.ORG), Canada page. Archived from the original on May 8, 2014.
  53. ^ "UNITED NATIONS GROUP OF EXPERTS ON GEOGRAPHICAL NAMES, Working Paper No. 16" (PDF). p. Bulletin No. 347/Rev. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 27, 2008.
  54. ^ "Organization of American States Office of Legal Cooperation, Member Country Information Page for Canada". Archived from the original on June 27, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  55. ^ "European Union Gateway Interinstutional Style Guide, List of Countries, territories and currencies - "Note 1, 'Full name' corresponds in most cases to the official name recognized by the United Nations."". Archived from the original on July 16, 2013. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  56. ^ "United States Department of State Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Independent States of the World—Canada: "no long-form name"". January 1, 1979. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  57. ^ "Government of Canada Translation Bureau, "List of Country Names"—Introduction notes that "The official name of a state (e.g. Islamic Republic of Iran), found under the common name (Iran), is taken from the United Nations Terminology Bulletin No. 347."". March 18, 2009. Archived from the original on January 17, 2010. Retrieved June 11, 2010.
  58. ^ Forsey, Eugene A., in Marsh, James H., ed. 1988. "DominionArchived 2017-01-22 at the Wayback Machine" The Canadian Encyclopedia. Hurtig Publishers: Toronto.
  59. ^ Rayburn 2001, pp. 19,21.
  60. ^ Canadian Heritage: National Flag of Canada Day - How Did You Do? Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, Canada's Digital Collections: Confederation 1867, Canadian Heritage: The Prince of Wales Royal Visit 2001, Quiz.
  61. ^ Canadian Heritage: National Flag of Canada Day - How Did You Do? Archived 2011-06-11 at the Wayback Machine, Canada's Digital Collections: Confederation 1867, Canadian Heritage: The Prince of Wales Royal Visit 2001, Quiz
  62. ^ Forsey, Eugene A. 2005. How Canadians Govern Themselves Archived 2009-03-25 at the Wayback Machine (PDF), 6th ed. Canada: Ottawa; pp. 8-9. The preface to the publication specifies that the opinions reflected are those of the author, and "do not necessarily reflect those of parliament."
  63. ^ "Territorial evolution". Atlas of Canada. Natural Resources Canada. Archived from the original on April 13, 2010. Retrieved October 9, 2007. In 1867, the colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick are united in a federal state, the Dominion of Canada.
  64. ^ "Tartan Display". Scottish Tartan Authority. Retrieved April 10, 2019.
  65. ^ BRIAN LILLEY, Parliamentary Bureau (March 9, 2011). "It's official, Maple Leaf Tartan is Canada's tartan | Canada | News". Toronto Sun. Retrieved October 26, 2011.
  66. ^ "Dominion of Canada FAQ". Retrieved April 9, 2019.


Further reading

  • Choudry, Sujit. 2001(?). "Constitution Acts" (based on looseleaf by Hogg, Peter W.). Constitutional Keywords. University of Alberta, Centre for Constitutional Studies: Edmonton.
  • Gerald Hallowell (2004). The Oxford Companion to Canadian History. Oxford University Press Canada. ISBN 978-0-19-541559-9.

External links

Alameda (Santiago)

Avenida Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins (English: General Liberator Bernardo O'Higgins Avenue), popularly known as La Alameda (meaning, a road surrounded by poplar trees), is the main avenue of Santiago, Chile. It runs east-west in the center of the greater urban area and is 7.77 km (4.83 mi) long, and it has up to 5 lanes in each direction. It was named after Chile's founding father Bernardo O'Higgins. It was originally a branch of the Mapocho River.


Anti-Canadianism is hostility towards the government, culture, or people of Canada.

Blunden Harbour

Blunden Harbour is a small harbour and native Indian reserve in the Canadian province of British Columbia. It is located the mainland side of Queen Charlotte Strait – about 25 kilometres (16 mi) northeast of Port Hardy. Blunden Harbour was the location of a Kwakwaka'wakw village whose residents referred to themselves as the 'Nak'waxda'xw, known historically as the Nakoaktok.

Bref récit

Bref récit et succincte narration de la navigation faite en MDXXXV et MDXXXVI was a literary work published in 1545, which recounted Jacques Cartier’s second voyage to the St. Lawrence Valley region of North America and detailed his interactions with the local St. Lawrence Iroquoian peoples. The book was more than likely written by Cartier’s secretary, Jehan Poullet.

Reingard Nischik's History of Literature in Canada is an excellent source on Cartier's work and explains the importance of the Bref récit as follows:

"The work documents Cartier’s voyage from the Strait of Belle Isle all the way to Hochelaga (the site of present day Montreal), followed by a hard winter in Stadacona (present-day Quebec City). The main importance of the accounts of Cartier’s voyages lay primarily in their political consequences and only secondarily in the value of the scientific or geographical information they contained. They were originally written as exploration reports for the French king François I. The Bref récit gained much popular appeal to due the extraordinary adventure it portrayed as it was a direct account of the discovery and exploration of a new continent and its peoples."

The book is noted, in part, for providing the historical documentation for the name of Canada.In 2005, the Literary Review of Canada named Bref récit as one of the 100 most important books in the history of Canadian literature.

British people

The British people, or the Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the British Overseas Territories, and the Crown dependencies. British nationality law governs modern British citizenship and nationality, which can be acquired, for instance, by descent from British nationals. When used in a historical context, "British" or "Britons" can refer to the Celtic Britons, the indigenous inhabitants of Great Britain and Brittany, whose surviving members are the modern Welsh people, Cornish people, and Bretons. It may also refer to citizens of the former British Empire.

Though early assertions of being British date from the Late Middle Ages, the creation of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707 triggered a sense of British national identity. The notion of Britishness was forged during the Napoleonic Wars between Britain and the First French Empire, and developed further during the Victorian era. The complex history of the formation of the United Kingdom created a "particular sense of nationhood and belonging" in Great Britain and Ireland; Britishness became "superimposed on much older identities", of English, Scots, Welsh and Irish cultures, whose distinctiveness still resists notions of a homogenised British identity. Because of longstanding ethno-sectarian divisions, British identity in Northern Ireland is controversial, but it is held with strong conviction by Unionists.Modern Britons are descended mainly from the varied ethnic groups that settled in the British Isles in and before the 11th century: Prehistoric, Brittonic, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Normans. The progressive political unification of the British Isles facilitated migration, cultural and linguistic exchange, and intermarriage between the peoples of England, Scotland and Wales during the late Middle Ages, early modern period and beyond. Since 1922 and earlier, there has been immigration to the United Kingdom by people from what is now the Republic of Ireland, the Commonwealth, mainland Europe and elsewhere; they and their descendants are mostly British citizens, with some assuming a British, dual or hyphenated identity.The British are a diverse, multinational, multicultural and multilingual society, with "strong regional accents, expressions and identities". The social structure of the United Kingdom has changed radically since the 19th century, with a decline in religious observance, enlargement of the middle class, and increased ethnic diversity, particularly since the 1950s. The population of the UK stands at around 66 million, with a British diaspora of around 140 million concentrated in Australia, Canada and New Zealand, with smaller concentrations in the United States, Republic of Ireland, Chile, South Africa and parts of the Caribbean.

Canada (New France)

Canada was a French colony within New France first claimed in the name of the King of France in 1535 during the second voyage of Jacques Cartier. The word "Canada" at this point referred to the territory along the Saint Lawrence River, then known as the Canada river, from Grosse Island in the east to a point between Quebec and Trois-Rivières, although this territory had greatly expanded by 1600. French explorations continued "unto the Countreys of Canada, Hochelaga, and Saguenay" before any permanent settlements were established. Even though a permanent trading post and habitation was established at Tadoussac in 1600, at the confluence of the Saguenay and Saint Lawrence rivers, it was under a trade monopoly and thus not constituted as an official French colonial settlement.

As a result, the first official settlement was not established within Canada until the founding of Quebec by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. The other four colonies within New France were Hudson's Bay to the north, Acadia and Newfoundland to the east, and Louisiana far to the south. Canada, the most developed colony of New France, was divided into three districts, Québec, Trois-Rivières, and Montréal, each with its own government. The governor of the District of Quebec was also the governor-general of all New France.Although the terms "Canada" and "New France" are sometimes used interchangeably, "New France actually represents a much broader portion of North American territory than the Great Lakes-St Lawrence colony of Canada". The Seven Years' War saw Great Britain defeat the French and their allies and take possession of Canada. In the Treaty of Paris of 1763, which formally ended the conflict, France renounced its claim to Canada in exchange for other colonies and the colony became the British colony of Quebec.

Canada Day

Canada Day (French: Fête du Canada) is the national day of Canada. A federal statutory holiday, it celebrates the anniversary of July 1, 1867, the effective date of the Constitution Act, 1867 (then called the British North America Act, 1867), which united the three separate colonies of the Province of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick into a single Dominion within the British Empire called Canada. Originally called Dominion Day (French: Le Jour de la Confédération), the holiday was renamed in 1982, the year the Canada Act was passed. Canada Day celebrations take place throughout the country, as well as in various locations around the world, attended by Canadians living abroad.

Canadian Confederation

Canadian Confederation (French: Confédération canadienne) was the process by which the British colonies of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick were united into one Dominion of Canada on July 1, 1867. Upon confederation, the old province of Canada was divided into Ontario and Quebec; along with Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the new federation thus comprised four provinces. Over the years since Confederation, Canada has seen numerous territorial changes and expansions, resulting in the current union of ten provinces and three territories.


"Canuck" is a slang term for a Canadian. The origins of the word are uncertain. The term "Kanuck" is first recorded in 1835 as an Americanism, originally referring to Dutch Canadians or French Canadians. By the 1850s, the spelling with a "C" became predominant. Today, English Canadians and others use "Canuck" as a term for any Canadian.

Commonwealth realm

A Commonwealth realm is a sovereign state in which Queen Elizabeth II is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. Each realm is independent from the other realms. As of 2019, there are 16 Commonwealth realms: Antigua and Barbuda, Australia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Canada, Grenada, Jamaica, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, and the United Kingdom. All 16 Commonwealth realms are members of the Commonwealth of Nations, an intergovernmental organisation of 53 member states. Elizabeth II is Head of the Commonwealth.

In 1952, Britain's proclamation of Elizabeth II's accession used the term realms to describe the seven sovereign states of which she was queen—the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Pakistan and Ceylon. Since then, new realms have been created through independence of former colonies and dependencies and some realms have become republics.

Constitution of Canada

The Constitution of Canada is the supreme law in Canada; the country's constitution is an amalgamation of codified acts and uncodified traditions and conventions. Canada is one of the oldest constitutional democracies in the world. The constitution outlines Canada's system of government, as well as the civil rights of all Canadian citizens and those in Canada.The composition of the Constitution of Canada is defined in subsection 52(2) of the Constitution Act, 1982, as consisting of the Canada Act 1982 (including the Constitution Act, 1982), all acts and orders referred to in the schedule (including the Constitution Act, 1867, formerly the British North America Act, 1867), and any amendments to these documents. The Supreme Court of Canada has held that the list is not exhaustive and includes a number of pre-confederation acts and unwritten components as well. See list of Canadian constitutional documents for details.


A Dominion was the "title" given to the semi-independent polities under the British Crown, constituting the British Empire, beginning with Canadian Confederation in 1867. "Dominion status" was a constitutional term of art used to signify an independent Commonwealth realm; they included Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Newfoundland, South Africa, and the Irish Free State, and then from the late 1940s also India, Pakistan, and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The Balfour Declaration of 1926 recognised the Dominions as "autonomous Communities within the British Empire", and the 1931 Statute of Westminster confirmed their full legislative independence.

Earlier usage of dominion to refer to a particular territory dates to the 16th century and was used to describe Wales from 1535 to 1801 and New England between 1686 and 1689.


Kanata is an indigenous Canadian word meaning "village" or "settlement". It is the origin of the name of Canada.

Kanata may also refer to:

Kanata, Ontario, a suburb of Ottawa, Canada

Kanata Irei (born 1982), a Japanese actor

52500 Kanata, an asteroid

Maz Kanata, a former space pirate in the sequel era of the Star Wars universe

List of Canada city name etymologies

This page lists the etymologies of the names of cities across Canada.

List of Canadian provincial and territorial name etymologies

This page lists the etymologies of the names of the provinces and territories of Canada.

List of sovereign states

The following is a list providing an overview of sovereign states around the world, with information on their status and recognition of their sovereignty.

The 206 listed states can be divided into three categories based on membership within the United Nations system: 193 member states, two observer states and 11 other states. The sovereignty dispute column indicates states whose sovereignty is undisputed (190 states) and states whose sovereignty is disputed (16 states, of which there are six member states, one observer state and nine other states).

Compiling a list such as this can be a difficult and controversial process, as there is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations concerning the criteria for statehood. For more information on the criteria used to determine the contents of this list, please see the criteria for inclusion section below. The list is intended to include entities that have been recognised as having de facto status as sovereign states, and inclusion should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific claim to statehood in legal terms.

Monkman Provincial Park

Monkman Provincial Park is a provincial park in British Columbia, southwest of Tumbler Ridge and northeast of Hansard. Like Monkman Pass, Monkman Lake, Monkman Creek and Monkman Falls, it was named after Alexander Monkman.

Outline of Canada

The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to Canada:

Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west and northward into the Arctic Ocean. It is the world's second largest country by total area, and shares land borders with the United States to the south and northwest, and marine borders with France and Greenland on the east and northeast, respectively.

The lands have been inhabited for millennia by various groups of aboriginal peoples. Beginning in the late 15th century, British and French expeditions explored and later settled 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 additional provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom, highlighted by the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and culminating in the Canada Act in 1982 which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament.

Canada is a federation that is governed as a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state. It is a bilingual and multicultural country, with both English and French as official languages at the federal level. Technologically advanced and industrialized, Canada maintains a diversified economy that is heavily reliant upon its abundant natural resources and upon trade—particularly with the United States, with which Canada has a long and complex relationship.

Quebec Conference, 1864

Beginning on 10 October 1864, and lasting over two weeks, the Quebec Conference was held to discuss a proposed Canadian confederation. It was in response to the shift in political ground as Britain and the United States had come very close to engaging in war with each other. Therefore, the overall goal of the conference was to elaborate on policies surrounding federalism, and creating a single state which were discussed previously at the Charlottetown Conference around a month earlier. Canada West leader John A. Macdonald requested Governor-General Charles Monck to invite all representatives from the three Maritime provinces and Newfoundland to meet with the candidates who formed the United Canada to Quebec, in October 1864. Newfoundland sent two observers, but did not participate directly in the proceedings. The Conference was held at the Château Frontenac.

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