Vancouver Island is in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Canadian province of British Columbia; the island is 460 kilometres in length, 100 kilometres in width at its widest point, 32,134 km2 in area. It is the largest island on the West Coast of the Americas; the southern part of Vancouver Island and some of the nearby Gulf Islands are the only parts of British Columbia or Western Canada to lie south of the 49th Parallel. This area has one of the warmest climates in Canada, since the mid-1990s has been mild enough in a few areas to grow subtropical Mediterranean crops such as olives and lemons. Vancouver Island had a population in 2016 of 775,347. Nearly half of that population live in the metropolitan area of Greater Victoria. Other notable cities and towns on Vancouver Island include Nanaimo, Port Alberni, Parksville and Campbell River. Victoria, the capital city of British Columbia, is located on the island, but the larger city of Vancouver is not – it is on the North American mainland, across the Strait of Georgia from Nanaimo.
Vancouver Island has been the homeland to many indigenous peoples for thousands of years. The island was explored by Spanish expeditions in the late 18th century, it was named Quadra's and Vancouver's Island in commemoration of the friendly negotiations held in 1792 by Spanish commander of the Nootka Sound settlement, Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra, by British naval captain George Vancouver, during the Nootka Crisis. Bodega y Quadra's name was dropped from the name, it is one of several North American locations named after George Vancouver, who explored the Pacific Northwest coast between 1791 and 1794. Vancouver Island is the world's 43rd largest island, Canada's 11th largest island, Canada's second most populous island after the Island of Montreal, it is the largest Pacific island anywhere east of New Zealand. Vancouver Island has been the homeland to many indigenous peoples for thousands of years; the groupings, by language, are the Kwakwaka'wakw, Nuu-chah-nulth, various Coast Salish peoples.
Kwakwaka'wakw territory includes northern and northwestern Vancouver Island and adjoining areas of the mainland, the Nuu-chah-nulth span most of the west coast, while the Coast Salish cover the southeastern Island and southernmost extremities along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Their cultures are connected to the natural resources abundant in the area; the Kwakwaka'wakw today number about 5,500, who live in British Columbia on northern Vancouver Island and the mainland. They are known as Kwakiutl in English, from one of their tribes, but they prefer their autonym Kwakwaka'wakw, their indigenous language, part of the Wakashan family, is Kwak'wala. The name Kwakwaka'wakw means "speakers of Kwak'wala"; the language is now spoken by less than 5% of the population—about 250 people. Today 17 separate tribes make up the Kwakwaka'wakw; some Kwakwaka'wakw groups are now extinct. Kwak'wala is a Northern Wakashan language, a grouping shared with Haisla and Wuikyala. Kwakwaka'wakw centres of population on Vancouver Island include communities such as Fort Rupert, Alert Bay and Quatsino, The Kwakwaka'wakw tradition of the potlatch was banned by the federal government of Canada in 1885, but has been revived in recent decades.
The Nuu-chah-nulth are indigenous peoples in Canada. Their traditional home is on the west coast of Vancouver Island. In pre-contact and early post-contact times, the number of nations was much greater, but as in the rest of the region and other consequences of contact resulted in the disappearance of some groups, the absorption of others into neighbouring groups, they were among the first Pacific peoples north of California to come into contact with Europeans, as the Spanish and British attempted to secure control of Pacific Northwest and the trade in otter pelts, with Nootka Sound becoming a focus of these rivalries. The Nuu-chah-nulth speak a Southern Wakashan language and are related to the Makah of the Olympic Peninsula, Washington State and Ditidaht; the Coast Salish are the largest of the southern groups. They are a loose grouping of many tribes with languages. On Vancouver Island, Coast Salish peoples territory traditionally spans from the northern limit of the Gulf of Georgia on the inside of Vancouver Island and covering most of southern Vancouver Island.
Distinct nations within the Coast Salish peoples on Vancouver Island include the Chemainus, the Comox of the Comox Valley area, the Cowichan of the Cowichan Valley, the Esquimalt, the Saanich of the Saanich Peninsula, the Songhees of the Victoria area and Snuneymuxw in the Nanaimo area. Europeans began to explore the island in 1774, when rumours of Russian fur traders caused Spain to send a number of expeditions to assert its long-held claims to the Pacific Northwest; the first expedition was that of the Santiago, under the command of Juan José Pérez Hernández. In 1775, a second Spanish expedition under the Spanish Peruvian captain Juan Francisco de la Bodega y Quadra was sent. By 1776 Spanish exploration had reached Bucareli Bay including the mouth of the Columbia River between Oregon and Washington, Sitka Sound. Vancouver Island came to the attention of Britain after the third voyage of Captain James Cook, who spent a month during 1778 at Nootka Sound, on the island's western coast. Cook claimed it for Great Britain.
The island's rich fur-trading potential led the fur trader John Meares to set up a single-building trading post near the native village of Yuquot, at the entrance to Nootka Sound. The building was removed by the end of 1788; the island was further explored by Spain in 1789 with Esteban José Martínez, who est
Mayne Island is a 21-square-kilometre island in the southern Gulf Islands chain of British Columbia. It is midway between the Lower Mainland of BC and Vancouver Island, has a population of 1,071. Mount Parke in the south-central heart of the island is its highest peak at 255 metres. Mayne Island was inhabited by members of the Tsartlip First Nation prior to European colonization. Several middens are present on the island, along with period articles — most notably including a 2 tonnes stone bowl, stolen in 1982 and again, in 2007. In 1794 Captain George Vancouver camped on Georgina Point where his crew left a coin and a knife found over a century by early settlers. In 1857 Captain George Richards of the Royal Navy surveyed the area as captain of the Royal Navy vessel HMS Plumper, naming the island after his Lieutenant Richard Charles Mayne, son of the first commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, his journals concerning his explorations of British Columbia are important sources for early British Columbia history, as are those of his colleague in many of those explorations, Royal Engineer Lieutenant Henry Spencer Palmer.
During the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush of 1858-1860 and after, Vancouver Island miners gathered on Mayne Island before rowing across Georgia Strait to the mainland of BC in search of their fortunes. The earliest homesteaders registered land claims in the Miners Bay area in 1859. During the late 19th century, Mayne Island was the social centre of the Gulf Islands; the port at Miners Bay was always busy due to the steady stream of marine traffic travelling through Active Pass, the narrow, curving strait separating Mayne from Galiano Island to the north, the main ferry route between the Mainland and Vancouver Island today. The historic village at Miners Bay remains the commercial centre of the island, with the annual Fall Fair still being held at the old Agricultural Hall like so many years before. Miners Bay is the site of the Springwater Lodge, built in 1892 and remains the oldest continuously operated hotel in British Columbia. Nearby Active Pass still throbs with a steady stream of marine traffic, a bustling contrast to the island's quiet interior byways.
Village Bay, with its BC Ferries terminal, has several late 19th-century to 1930s buildings. Active Pass is named after the American survey ship USCS Active, the first steam vessel to navigate the pass; the Japanese-Canadian community on Mayne Island played a historical role in the island's economics and society from the turn of the 20th century until World War II. The community had close ties to the European-Canadian population throughout the Gulf Islands and was involved in major economic initiatives such as greenhouse farming. In 1941 the Japanese Canadians living on Mayne Island were interned by the government and resettled in New Denver for the duration of World War II. Many of the families would never return to the island after the loss of their community. Today, the Japanese Gardens, near Dinner Bay, are dedicated to the memory and legacy of the Mayne Island's Japanese-Canadian community; the Mayne Island community holds a Farmers' Market every Saturday morning throughout the summer months.
Islanders sell their local produce, baked goods, art work. BC Ferries operates a vehicle and passenger scheduled ferry service from Tsawwassen on the mainland and Swartz Bay on Vancouver Island as well as to the other major southern Gulf Islands. SeaAir Seaplanes operates a scheduled float plane service calling at Mayne Island from Vancouver downtown and the airport. Hitchhiking is common on the island in the summer and dedicated "car stops" for pick-ups are located along the major roadways. Gulf Islands National Park Reserve offers opportunities for boating, hiking, wildlife viewing and picnicking. There is an easy 1.5 km loop trail at Bennett Bay. Campbell Point features views of Georgeson Island. Bennett Bay has a sandy beach, suitable for sunbathing and swimming. Georgina Point is the location of a historic lighthouse. Built in 1885, the Georgina Point lighthouse marks the entrance to Active Pass. Orca whales, harbour seals and seabirds can all be seen at Georgina Point. Mayne Island Community Portal - News, Real Estate, Email Mayne Island website Mayne Island Community Chamber of Commerce website "Mayne Island".
BC Geographical Names
Strait of Georgia
The Strait of Georgia or the Georgia Strait is an arm of the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island and the extreme southwestern mainland coast of British Columbia and the extreme northwestern mainland coast of Washington, United States. It is 240 kilometres long and varies in width from 20 to 58 kilometres. Along with the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, it is a constituent part of the Salish Sea. Archipelagos and narrow channels mark each end of the Strait of Georgia, the Gulf Islands and San Juan Islands in the south, the Discovery Islands in the north; the main channels to the south are Boundary Pass, Haro Strait and Rosario Strait, which connect the Strait of Georgia to the Strait of Juan de Fuca. In the north, Discovery Passage is the main channel connecting the Strait of Georgia to Johnstone Strait; the strait is a major navigation channel on the west coast of North America, owing to the presence of the port of Vancouver, due to its role as the southern entrance to the intracoastal route known as the Inside Passage.
The United States Geological Survey defines the southern boundary of the Strait of Georgia as a line running from East Point on Saturna Island to Patos Island, Sucia Island, Matia Island to Point Migley on Lummi Island. This line touches the northern edges of Rosario Strait, which leads south to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Boundary Pass, which leads south to Haro Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca; the mean depth of the Strait of Georgia is 157 metres, with a maximum depth of 448 metres. Its surface area is 6,800 square kilometres; the Fraser River accounts for 80 percent of the fresh water entering the strait. Water circulates in the strait in a general counterclockwise direction; the term "Gulf of Georgia" includes waters other than the Georgia Strait proper, such as the inter-insular straits and channels of the Gulf Islands, may refer to communities on the shore of southern Vancouver Island. As defined by George Vancouver in 1792, the Gulf of Georgia included all the inland waters beyond the eastern end of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including Puget Sound, Bellingham Bay, the waters around the San Juan Islands, as well as the Strait of Georgia.
Several major islands are in the largest being Quadra Island and Texada Island. First Nations communities have surrounded the Strait of Georgia for thousands of years; the first European exploration of the area was undertaken by Captain Jose Maria Narvaez and Pilot Juan Carrasco of Spain in 1791. At this time Francisco de Eliza gave the strait the name "Gran Canal de Nuestra Señora del Rosario la Marinera." In 1792, it was renamed for King George III as the "Gulf of Georgia" by George Vancouver of Great Britain, during his extensive expedition along the west coast of North America. Vancouver designated the mainland in this region as New Georgia, areas farther north as New Hanover and New Bremen; the June 23, 1946 Vancouver Island earthquake shocked the Strait of Georgia region, causing the bottom of Deep Bay to sink between 3 and 26 m. The two busiest routes of the BC Ferries system cross the strait, between Tsawwassen and Swartz Bay and between Horseshoe Bay and Nanaimo; the Strait of Georgia is known as a premier scuba whale watching location.
In 1967, the Georgia Strait inspired the name of Vancouver's alternative newspaper, The Georgia Straight, which has published continuously since. Towns and cities on the strait include Campbell River, Comox, Qualicum Beach, Parksville and Nanaimo on the western shore, as well as Powell River, Sechelt and Greater Vancouver on the east. Across the border in the United States, Bellingham and other communities lie on the eastern shore. Other settlements on Vancouver Island and the mainland are separated from Georgia Strait itself by islands and lesser straits but are spoken of as being in the Strait of Georgia region. A controversial idea has existed since 1872 of a bridge connecting Vancouver Island to the British Columbia mainland; the first idea was to cross Seymour Narrows at Menzies Bay with a rail bridge for the then-proposed Canadian Pacific Railway to link Victoria, via Bute Inlet and the Yellowhead Pass, with the rest of Canada. Proposals have focussed on bridging the Strait of Georgia itself, much wider than Seymour Narrows.
A proposed modern road bridge connecting Greater Vancouver to Vancouver Island in the manner of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, has been discussed for decades since the commencement of service by BC Ferries. Some crossing design suggestions include a floating submerged tunnel to allow ship traffic to move freely; the hurricane-force windstorms of Typhoon Freda in 1962 and of December 2006 call into question the safety of such a project. Proponents of the bridge argue that a reliable link to Vancouver Island from mainland British Columbia will increase tourism and growth on Vancouver Island. Opponents argue that construction of a bridge will result in further urbanization of the island and that the area's environment will be negatively affected by construction and the increase in tourism. Other potential problems are the width and depth of the strait and the soft consistency of the strait floor, as well as high seismic activity in the Vancouver Island region, the fact that the strait is used as a navigation channel.
The strait is far deeper than any bridged body of water in the world. Former B. C. cabinet minister Dr. Patrick McGeer, a research neuroscientist and a science advocate, has advanced the proposal in recent decades
Ganges Water Aerodrome
Ganges Water Aerodrome, is located 1 nautical mile southeast of Ganges on Saltspring Island in British Columbia, Canada. List of airports in the Gulf Islands
Salt Spring Island
Salt Spring Island is one of the Gulf Islands in the Strait of Georgia between mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The island was inhabited by various Salishan peoples before being settled by pioneers in 1859, at which time it was called Admiral Island, it was the first of the Gulf Islands to be settled and the first agricultural settlement on the islands in the Colony of Vancouver Island, as well as the first island in the region to permit settlers to acquire land through pre-emption. The island was retitled to its current name in 1910. Salt Spring Island is the largest, most populous, the most visited of the Southern Gulf Islands. Salt Spring Island, or xʷənen̕əč, was inhabited by Salishan peoples of various tribes. Other Saanich placenames on the island include: t̕θəsnaʔəŋ̕, čəw̕een, xʷən̕en̕əč, syaxʷt; the island became a refuge from racism for African Americans. They left California in 1858. Several of the families settled on this island. Before the emigration, Mifflin Wistar Gibbs traveled with two other men up to the colony to interview Governor James Douglas about what kind of treatment they could expect there.
The Governor was a Guyanese man of multi-ethnic birth, assured them that people of African descent in Canada would be treated and that the colony had abolished slavery more than 20 years before. The island was the first of the Gulf Islands to be settled by non-First Nations people. According to 1988's A Victorian Missionary and Canadian Indian Policy, it was the first agricultural settlement established anywhere in the Colony of Vancouver Island, not owned by the Hudson's Bay Company or its subsidiary the Pugets Sound Agricultural Company. Salt Spring Island was the first in the Colony of Vancouver Island and British Columbia to allow settlers to acquire land through pre-emption: settlers could occupy and improve the land before purchase, being permitted to buy it at a cost per acre of one dollar after proving they had done so. Before 1871, all property acquired on Salt Spring Island was purchased in this way; as a result, the history of early settlers on Salt Spring Island is unusually detailed.
Demographically, early settlers of the island included not only African Americans, but English and British Isles settlers, including Irish and Scottish, as well as aboriginal and Hawaiian. The method of land purchase helped to ensure that the land was used for agricultural purposes and that the settlers were families. Ruth Wells Sandwell in Beyond the City Limit indicates that few of the island's early residents were commercial farmers, with most families maintaining subsistence plots and supplementing through other activities, including fishing and working for the colony's government; some families abandoned their land as a result of lack of civic services on the island or other factors, such as the livestock-killing cold of the winter of 1862. During the 1960s, the island became a political refuge for United States citizens, this time for draft evaders during the Vietnam War; the island was known as "Chuan" or "Chouan" Island in 1854, but it was called "Salt Spring" as early as 1855, because of the island's salt springs.
In 1859, it was named "Admiralty Island" in honour of Rear-Admiral Robert Lambert Baynes by surveyor Captain Richards, who named various points of the island in honour of the Rear-Admiral and his flagship, HMS Ganges. While named "Admiralty Island", it was referred to popularly as Salt Spring, as in James Richardson's report for the Geological Survey of Canada in 1872. According to records of the Geographic Board of Canada, the island was retitled Saltspring on March 1, 1910, though the year 1905 is given by unofficial sources. According to the Integrated Land Management Bureau of British Columbia, locals incline to Salt Spring and Saltspring for current use; the official chamber of commerce website for the island, which gives a date of 1906 for the renaming, adopts the two word title, stating that the Geographic Board of Canada, in choosing the one word name, "cared nothing for local opinion or Island tradition." Located between Mainland British Columbia and Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island is the most visited of the Gulf Islands as well as the most populous, with a 2016 census population of 10,557 inhabitants.
The largest village on the island is Ganges. The island is known for its artists. In addition to Canadian dollars, island banks and most island businesses accept Salt Spring's own local currency, the Salt Spring dollar; the island is part of the Southern Gulf Islands, which are all part of the Capital Regional District, along with the municipalities of Greater Victoria. Salt Spring Island's highest point of elevation is Bruce Peak, which according to topographic data from Natural Resources Canada is just over 700 m above sea level. Salt Spring Island has many hiking trails. Two of these trails are rough and windy trails that lead to the summit regions of both Bruce Peak 709 m above sea level, Mount Tuam 602 meters above sea level; these two mountain peaks are the tallest points of land on the Southern Gulf Islands. Many short hikes can be found on the island. One of these is the 2.5 km long trek to the summit of Mount Erskine, 441 m above se
Not to be confused with Canadian Transportation Agency. Transport Canada is the department within the Government of Canada responsible for developing regulations and services of transportation in Canada, it is part of the Transportation and Communities portfolio. The current Minister of Transport is Marc Garneau. Transport Canada is headquartered in Ontario; the Department of Transport was created in 1935 by the government of William Lyon Mackenzie King in recognition of the changing transportation environment in Canada at the time. It merged three departments: the former Department of Railways and Canals, the Department of Marine and Fisheries, the Civil Aviation Branch of the Department of National Defence under C. D. Howe, who would use the portfolio to rationalize the governance and provision of all forms of transportation, he created Trans-Canada Air Lines. The Department of Transport Act came into force November 2, 1936. Prior to a 1994 federal government reorganization, Transport Canada had a wide range of operational responsibilities including the Canadian Coast Guard, the Saint Lawrence Seaway and seaports, as well as Via Rail and CN Rail.
Significant cuts to Transport Canada at that time resulted in CN Rail being privatized, the coast guard being transferred to Fisheries and Oceans, the seaway and various ports and airports being transferred to local operating authorities. Transport Canada emerged from this process as a department focused on policy and regulation rather than transportation operations. In 2004, Transport Canada introduced non-passenger screening to enhance both airport and civil aviation security. Transport Canada's headquarters are located in Ottawa at Place de Ville, Tower C. Transport Canada has regional headquarters in: Vancouver – Government of Canada Building on Burrard Street and Robson Street Edmonton – Canada Place, 9700 Jasper Avenue NW Winnipeg – Macdonald Building, 344 Edmonton Street Toronto – Government of Canada Building, 4900 Yonge Street Dorval – Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport, 700 Place Leigh-Capreol Moncton – Heritage Building, 95 Foundry Street Minister of Transport Marc GarneauDeputy Minister, Transport Canada Michael KeenanAssociate Deputy Minister, Thao Pham Assistant Deputy Minister and Security, Kevin Brousseau Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Security, Aaron McCrombie Assistant Deputy Minister, Pierre-Marc Mongeau Associate Assistant Deputy Minister and Lead, Navigation Protection Act Review, Catherine Higgens Assistant Deputy Minister, Lawrence Hanson Assistant Deputy Minister, Corporate Services, André Lapointe Assistant Deputy Minister, Natasha Rascanin Director General, Corporate Secretariat, Tom Oommen Director General and Marketing, Dan Dugas Regional Director General, Atlantic Region, Ann Mowatt Regional Director General, Quebec Region, Albert Deschamps Regional Director General, Ontario Region, Tamara Rudge Regional Director General and Northern Region, Michele Taylor Regional Director General, Pacific Region, Robert Dick Departmental General Counsel, Henry K. Schultz Chief Audit and Evaluation Executive, Martin Rubenstein Transport Canada is responsible for enforcing several Canadian legislation, including the Aeronautics Act, Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act, Motor Vehicle Safety Act, Canada Transportation Act, Railway Safety Act, Canada Shipping Act, 2001, Marine Transportation Security Act amongst others.
Each inspector with delegated power from the Minister of Transport receives official credentials to exercise their power, as shown on the right. These inspectors are public officers identified within the Criminal Code of Canada; the Motor Vehicle Safety Act was established in 1971 in order to create safety standards for cars in Canada. The department acts as the federal government's funding partner with provincial transport ministries on jointly-funded provincial transportation infrastructure projects for new highways. TC manage a database of traffic collisions in Canada. Transport Canada's role in railways include: railway safety surface and intermodal security strategies for rail travel accessibility safety of federally regulated railway bridges safety and security of international bridges and tunnels Inspecting and testing traffic control signals, grade crossing warning systems rail operating rules regulations and services for safe transport of dangerous goods Canadian Transport Emergency Centre to assist emergency response and handling dangerous goods emergenciesFollowing allegations by shippers of service level deterioration, on April 7, 2008, the federal government of Canada launched a review of railway freight service within the country.
Transport Canada, managing the review, plans to investigate the relationships between Canadian shippers and the rail industry with regards to the two largest railroad companies in the country, Canadian Pacific Railway and Canadian National Railway. On June 26, 2013, the Fair Rail Freight Service Act became law, a response to the Rail Freight Service Review’s Final Report. Transport Canada is responsible for the waterways inside and surrounding Canada; these responsibilities include: responding and investigating marine accidents within Canadian waters enforcing marine acts and regulations establishing and enforcing marine personnel standards and pilotage Marine Safety Marine Security regulating the operation of marine vessels in Canadian watersAs of 2003 the Office of Boating Safety and the Navigable Waters Protection Program were transferred back to Transport Canada. As was certain regulatory aspects of Emergen
Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic to the Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocean, covering 9.98 million square kilometres, making it the world's second-largest country by total area. Canada's southern border with the United States is the world's longest bi-national land border, its capital is Ottawa, its three largest metropolitan areas are Toronto and Vancouver. As a whole, Canada is sparsely populated, the majority of its land area being dominated by forest and tundra, its population is urbanized, with over 80 percent of its inhabitants concentrated in large and medium-sized cities, many near the southern border. Canada's climate varies across its vast area, ranging from arctic weather in the north, to hot summers in the southern regions, with four distinct seasons. Various indigenous peoples have inhabited what is now Canada for thousands of years prior to European colonization. Beginning in the 16th century and French expeditions explored, settled, along the Atlantic coast.
As a consequence of various armed conflicts, France ceded nearly all of its colonies in North America in 1763. 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 provinces and territories and a process of increasing autonomy from the United Kingdom. This widening autonomy was highlighted by the Statute of Westminster of 1931 and culminated in the Canada Act of 1982, which severed the vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament. Canada is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy in the Westminster tradition, with Elizabeth II as its queen and a prime minister who serves as the chair of the federal cabinet and head of government; the country is a realm within the Commonwealth of Nations, a member of the Francophonie and bilingual at the federal level. It ranks among the highest in international measurements of government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic freedom, education.
It is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, the product of large-scale immigration from many other countries. Canada's long and complex relationship with the United States has had a significant impact on its economy and culture. A developed country, Canada has the sixteenth-highest nominal per capita income globally as well as the twelfth-highest ranking in the Human Development Index, its advanced economy is the tenth-largest in the world, relying chiefly upon its abundant natural resources and well-developed international trade networks. Canada is part of several major international and intergovernmental institutions or groupings including the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the G7, the Group of Ten, the G20, the North American Free Trade Agreement and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. While a variety of theories have been postulated for the etymological origins of Canada, the name is now accepted as coming from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word kanata, meaning "village" or "settlement".
In 1535, indigenous inhabitants of the present-day Quebec City region used the word to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to the village of Stadacona. Cartier used the word Canada to refer not only to that particular village but to the entire area subject to Donnacona. From the 16th to the early 18th century "Canada" referred to the part of New France that lay along the Saint Lawrence River. In 1791, the area became two British colonies called Upper Canada and Lower Canada collectively named the Canadas. Upon Confederation in 1867, Canada was adopted as the legal name for the new country at the London Conference, the word Dominion was conferred as the country's title. By the 1950s, the term Dominion of Canada was no longer used by the United Kingdom, which considered Canada a "Realm of the Commonwealth"; the government of Louis St. Laurent ended the practice of using'Dominion' in the Statutes of Canada in 1951. In 1982, the passage of the Canada Act, bringing the Constitution of Canada under Canadian control, referred only to Canada, that year the name of the national holiday was changed from Dominion Day to Canada Day.
The term Dominion was used to distinguish the federal government from the provinces, though after the Second World War the term federal had replaced dominion. Indigenous peoples in present-day Canada include the First Nations, Métis, the last being a mixed-blood people who originated in the mid-17th century when First Nations and Inuit people married European settlers; the term "Aboriginal" as a collective noun is a specific term of art used in some legal documents, including the Constitution Act 1982. The first inhabitants of North America are hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago; the Paleo-Indian archeological sites at Old Crow Flats and Bluefish Caves are two of the oldest sites of human habitation in Canada. The characteristics of Canadian indigenous societies included permanent settlements, complex societal hierarchies, trading networks; some of these cultures had collapsed by the time European explorers arrived in the late 15th and early 16th centuries and have only been discovered through archeological investigations.
The indigenous population at the time of the first European settlements is estimated to have been between 200,000