CANADIAN HISTORY - Three Founding Nations

The greatest influence on Canadian culture has come from the British, French, and Indigenous peoples

Canada's first inhabitants probably crossed from Siberia by land bridge when the last Ice Age was drawing to a close.   Their history in Canada stretches well into the past long before the arrival of the Europeans. 

Canada's Aboriginal peoples had settled and established trade routes across Canada by 1,000 BC to 500 BC.  They had cultures spanning thousands of years - with distinct spiritual beliefs and styles of social organization - prior to European colonization.

It wasn't until the late 15th century, that French and British expeditions explored, colonized, and fought over various lands in what we know as Canada today.  In 1534 the colony of New France was established and was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1763 after the French were defeated in the Seven Years' War.

Historians tended to group First Nations in Canada according to the six main geographic areas of the country.  The six groups were: Woodland First Nations, Iroquoian First Nations, Plains First Nations, Plateau First Nations,  Pacific Coast First Nations, and the First Nations of the Mackenzie and Yukon River Basins.

The government of Canada acknowledges on their website that - "the history of First Nations, Inuit and Métis is essentially the very history of Canada as they have played, and continue to play, important roles in its development and its future" - and invites everyone to learn more at the virtual exhibit at the Canadian Museum of History