All about Canada
The Iroquoian term "Kanata" that means a village or a settlement, is the origin of the name Canada. Pioneer inhabitants used this term to teach the French explorer, Jacques Cartier about Canada. Cartier then used the word Canada to specify the Chief of Stadacona's territories. Canada in the 17th century was used to denote the areas along St. Lawrence River and those who are located north of the Great Lakes. These two regions were later divided into Lower and Upper Canada as British colonies. After being reunited in 1841, the area was coined province of Canada. A federal government in Canada was formed on July 1, 1867 that united the provinces of Nova Scotia, Ontario, New Brunswick and Quebec. After 3 years, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba and Yukon territories were also included. They were followed shortly by British Columbia in 1871 and later by the Prince Edward Island in 1873. Canada, under the British Empire was made known as a country by defeating the Germans in capturing Vimy Ridge in 1917. It was only in 1931 that Canada became a totally independent country through the Statute of Westminster. These historical facts are vital in the science and social studies of this country.
Canada lies on the northern part of the northern American continent. After Russia, it is the second-largest country with a total area of 9,984,670 sq km covering about 40% of the entire continent. Its land area covers 9,093,507 sq km. It also has the largest coastline extended at the total of 891,163 sq km. touching the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans. The national territory is composed of ten provinces and three territories with Ottawa as capital. The provinces are Nova Scotia, Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, New Brunswick, British Columbia, Manitoba, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Quebec and Prince Edward Island; while the three territories are Yukon, Nunavut and Northwest Territories.
Canada has two types of government: a Constitutional Monarchy and Parliamentary Democracy. In the constitutional monarchy, a monarch is the head of state while the prime minister is elected through the constitution. The Canadian parliament in the capital Ottawa houses, the Canadian House of Commons, The Canadian Senate and the Sovereign of Canada. The ten provinces derive their respective powers and authorities from the Constitution 1867 while the territories' were rooted from the federal government.
Geography would play an interesting role in science and social studies in Canada. Because of the large area of the country, the topographical features varies widely from rocky mountain peaks in the western part of the country; the Canadian shield, the ice-topped Precambrian rock formation surrounding the Hudson bay, the wide area of farmlands and prairies to forest to the large coastal waters. Climate is also diverse in many regions. The northernmost part of the country experiences permafrost due to low temperature and precipitation while those on the pacific coast continually experience a year round of mild temperature with light to heavy rainfall favoring development of rainforest. This is the very reason why almost 85% of the population resides on the southern region of the country. Canada has two official languages, English and French. Both are use widely as in bilingual system. Though English may seem dominant country-wide there are some regions such as in Quebec wherein bilingualism is favored. The country has 6 different time zones because of the country's size. Its economy is also highly affected by its geography; since different industries are develop in different regions. Manufacturing, natural resources and service sectors top their economic drive. The NAFTA and other free trade agreement, especially with the immediate neighbor United States had been proven very beneficial for Canada.
Because of all these features Canada, had established both economic and technological growth, with a reliable system of government that even matches that of the United States.
Websites For Learning All About Canada
- An American's Guide to Canada
- Atlas of Canada
- CanadaInfo: A Tribute to Canada
- Canada's National History Society
- The Canadian Encyclopedia
- Canadian Fauna
- CIA World Factbook: Canada
- Early Canadiana Online
- ITC Inuit Youth Site
- National Archives of Canada
- Northwest Journal
- Prince Edward Island for Kids
- The Virtual Museum of Canada