Sample Canada - History Worksheet
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Canada - History
By Ekaterina Zhdanova-Redman

1     The First Nations people and Eskimos, or Inuit, lived in what is now Canada long before the first Europeans reached the country. First Nations is still the most populous group in the Northwest Territory and much of the Yukon. These people are descendants of the very first settlers who came to North America more than 15,000 years ago.
2     Where the Bering Strait separates Asia and North America, there was once a narrow land bridge connecting the two continents. Asian nomads probably found their way across that bridge onto the North American continent. They and their descendants spent many centuries migrating south and east, hunting and fishing. Those first people were Canada's only inhabitants until the tenth century AD, when the Vikings, the first European visitors, tried to settle in northern Newfoundland.
3     By the time subsequent Europeans arrived, Canada's First Nations tribes had already developed a multitude of languages, customs, religious beliefs, trading patterns, arts and crafts, laws and governments. The one characteristic shared by practically all those groups was that they were self-governing and politically independent.
4     Although a number of European countries were interested in establishing settlements in the Americas, it was French explorer Jacques Cartier who made the first claim on the area surrounding the Saint Lawrence River in 1534. Another French explorer, Samuel de Champlain, further explored the valley of the Saint Lawrence River looking for better settlements and founded Quebec City in early 1608. Between 1608 and 1656, about 10,000 French settlers arrived in Canada. They became the ancestors of most of the French Canadians of today.
5     The Indians had called the part of the Saint Lawrence River Valley "Canada," from an Iroquoian word that probably meant "village" or "settlement." The French called their North American colonies "New France," and this is why Samuel de Champlain was often called "The Father of New France."

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