British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
The British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, or Empire Air Training Scheme referred to as "The Plan", was a massive, joint military aircrew training program created by the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand, during the Second World War. BCATP remains as one of the single largest aviation training programs in history and was responsible for training nearly half the pilots, bomb aimers, air gunners, wireless operators and flight engineers who served with the Royal Air Force, Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm, Royal Australian Air Force, Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal New Zealand Air Force during the war. Under a parallel agreement, the Joint Air Training Scheme, South Africa trained 33,347 aircrew for the South African Air Force and other Allied air forces; this number was exceeded only by Canada. Students from many other countries attended schools under these plans, including Argentina, Ceylon, Denmark, Fiji, Greece, the Netherlands, Norway and the United States, where the similar Civilian Pilot Training Program was underway by the end of 1938.
The United Kingdom was considered an unsuitable location for air training, due to the possibility of enemy attack, the strain caused by wartime traffic at airfields and the unpredictable weather, so the plan called for the facilities in the Dominions to train British and each other's aircrews. Negotiations regarding joint training, between the four governments concerned, took place in Ottawa during the first few months of the war. On 17 December 1939, they signed the Air Training Agreement – referred to as the "Riverdale Agreement", after the UK representative at the negotiations, Lord Riverdale; the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan was viewed as an ambitious programme. The 1939 agreement stated that the training was to be similar to that of the RAF: three initial training schools, thirteen elementary flying training schools, sixteen service flying training schools, ten air observer schools, ten bombing and gunnery schools, two air navigation schools and four wireless schools were to be created.
The agreement called for the training of nearly 50,000 aircrew each year, for as long as necessary: 22,000 aircrew from Great Britain, 13,000 from Canada, 11,000 from Australia and 3,300 from New Zealand. Under the agreement, air crews received elementary training in various Commonwealth countries before travelling to Canada for advanced courses. Training costs were to be divided between the four governments. Article XV of the agreement stipulated that graduates belonging to Dominion air forces, where they were assigned to service with the RAF, should be placed in new squadrons identified with the RAAF, RCAF and RNZAF; these units became known as "Article XV squadrons". Articles XVI and XVII stipulated that the UK government would be wholly responsible for the pay and entitlements of graduates, once they were placed with RAF or Article XV units; some pre-war/regular RAAF and RCAF squadrons served under RAF operational control, while New Zealand and Rhodesian personnel were assigned to RAF squadrons with the honorifics of "" and "" in their names.
However, in practice – and technically in contravention of Article XV – most personnel from other Commonwealth countries, while they were under RAF operational control, were assigned to British units. On 29 April 1940, the first Canadian training course commenced, with 221 recruits, at No. 1 Initial Training School RCAF, located at the Eglinton Hunt Club, Toronto. From this intake, 39 received their wings as aircrew on 30 September 1940. All of these graduates, were retained by the BCATP in Canada, as instructors, staff pilots or in similar flying assignments; the first BCATP personnel sent to the UK were 37 Canadian observers, who received their wings at RCAF Trenton, near Trenton, Ontario, on 27 October 1940. The first BCATP-trained pilots posted to Europe as a group were 37 RAAF personnel who graduated in November 1941, from No. 2 Service Flying Training School, RCAF Uplands, Ottawa. Prior to the inception of the Empire Air Training Scheme, the RAAF trained only about 50 pilots per year. Under the Air Training Agreement, Australia undertook to provide 28,000 aircrew over three years, representing 36% of the total number trained by the BCATP.
By 1945, more than 37,500 Australian aircrew had been trained in Australia. During 1940, Royal Australian Air Force schools were established across Australia to support EATS in Initial Training, Elementary Flying Training, Service Flying Training, Air Navigation, Air Observer and Gunnery and Wireless Air Gunnery; the first flying course started on 29 April 1940. Keith Chisholm was the first Australian to be trained under EATS. For a period, most RAAF aircrews received advanced training in Canada. During mid-1940, some RAAF trainees began to receive advanced training at RAF facilities in Southern Rhodesia. On 14 November 1940, the first contingent to graduate from advanced training in Canada embarked for Britain, Following the outbreak of the Pacific War in December 1941, the majority of RAAF aircrews completed their training in Australia and served with RAAF units in the South West Pacific Theatre. In addition, an increasing number of Australian personnel were transferred from Europe and the Mediterranean to RAF squadrons in the South East Asian Theatre.
Some Article XV squadrons were transferred to RAAF or RAF formations involved in the Pacific War. A significa
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Yorkton Municipal Airport
Yorkton Municipal Airport, is located 2.8 nautical miles north of Yorkton, Canada. During World War II the Airport was operated as RCAF Station Yorkton and was home to No. 23 Elementary Flying Training School and No. 11 Service Flying Training School - both schools being a part of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. Among the present users is a Gliding Centre, operated for the Royal Canadian Air Cadets. Past three hours METARs, SPECI and current TAFs for Yorkton Municipal Airport from Nav Canada as available
Royal Canadian Air Force
The Royal Canadian Air Force is the air force of Canada. Its role is to "provide the Canadian Forces with relevant and effective airpower"; the RCAF is one of three environmental commands within the unified Canadian Armed Forces. As of 2013, the Royal Canadian Air Force consists of 14,500 Regular Force and 2,600 Primary Reserve personnel, supported by 2,500 civilians, operates 258 manned aircraft and 9 unmanned aerial vehicles. Lieutenant-General Al Meinzinger is the current Commander of the Royal Canadian Air Force and Chief of the Air Force Staff; the Royal Canadian Air Force is responsible for all aircraft operations of the Canadian Forces, enforcing the security of Canada's airspace and providing aircraft to support the missions of the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army. The RCAF is a partner with the United States Air Force in protecting continental airspace under the North American Aerospace Defense Command; the RCAF provides all primary air resources to and is responsible for the National Search and Rescue Program.
The RCAF traces its history to the Canadian Air Force, formed in 1920. The Canadian Air Force was granted royal sanction in 1924 by King George V to form the Royal Canadian Air Force. In 1968, the RCAF was amalgamated with the Royal Canadian Navy and the Canadian Army, as part of the unification of the Canadian Forces. Air units were split between several different commands: Air Defence Command, Air Transport Command, Mobile Command, Maritime Command, as well as Training Command. In 1975, some commands were dissolved, all air units were placed under a new environmental command called Air Command. Air Command reverted to its historic name of "Royal Canadian Air Force" in August 2011; the Royal Canadian Air Force has served in the Second World War, the Korean War, the Persian Gulf War, as well as several United Nations peacekeeping missions and NATO operations. As a NATO member, the force maintained a presence in Europe during the second half of the 20th century; the Canadian Air Force was established in 1920 as the successor to a short-lived two-squadron Canadian Air Force, formed during the First World War in Europe.
John Scott Williams, MC, AFC, was tasked in 1921 with organizing the CAF, handing command over the same year to Air Marshal Lindsay Gordon. The new Canadian Air Force was a branch of the Air Board and was chiefly a training militia that provided refresher training to veteran pilots. Many CAF members worked with the Air Board's Civil Operations Branch on operations that included forestry and anti-smuggling patrols. In 1923, the CAF became responsible including civil aviation. In 1924, the Canadian Air Force, was granted the royal title. Most of its work was civil in nature. After budget cuts in the early 1930s, the air force began to rebuild. During the Second World War, the RCAF was a major contributor to the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan and was involved in operations in Great Britain, the north Atlantic, North Africa, southern Asia, with home defence. By the end of the war, the RCAF had become the fourth largest allied air force. During WWII the Royal Canadian Air Force were headquartered in London.
A commemorative plaque can be found on the outside of the building. After the war, the RCAF reduced its strength; because of the rising Soviet threat to the security of Europe, Canada joined NATO in 1949, the RCAF established No. 1 Air Division RCAF consisting of four wings with three fighter squadrons each, based in France and West Germany. In 1950, the RCAF became involved with the transport of supplies to the Korean War. Members of the RCAF served in USAF units as several flew in combat. Both auxiliary and regular air defence squadrons were run by Air Defence Command. At the same time, the Pinetree Line, the Mid-Canada Line and the DEW Line radar stations operated by the RCAF, were built across Canada because of the growing Soviet nuclear threat. In 1957, Canada and the United States created the joint North American Air Defense Command. Coastal defence and peacekeeping became priorities during the 1950s and 1960s. In 1968, the Royal Canadian Navy, Royal Canadian Air Force and Canadian Army were amalgamated to form the unified Canadian Forces.
This initiative was overseen by Liberal Defence Minister, Paul Hellyer. The controversial merger maintained several existing organizations and created some new ones: In Europe, No. 1 Air Division, operated Canadair CF-104 Starfighter nuclear strike/attack and reconnaissance under NATO's 4 ATAF. Aviation assets of the Royal Canadian Navy were combined with the RCAF Canadair CP-107 Argus long-range patrol aircraft under Maritime Command. In 1975, the different commands, the scattered aviation assets, were consolidated under Air Command. In the early 1990s, Canada provided a detachment of CF-18 Hornets for the air defence mission in Operation Desert Shield; the force performed combat air patrols over operations in Kuwait and Iraq, undertook a number of air-to-ground bombing missions, and, on one occasion, attacked an Iraqi patrol boat in the Persian Gulf. In the late 1
According to the International Civil Aviation Organization, a runway is a "defined rectangular area on a land aerodrome prepared for the landing and takeoff of aircraft". Runways may be a natural surface. In January 1919, aviation pioneer Orville Wright underlined the need for "distinctly marked and prepared landing places, the preparing of the surface of reasonably flat ground an expensive undertaking there would be a continuous expense for the upkeep." Runways are named by a number between 01 and 36, the magnetic azimuth of the runway's heading in decadegrees. This heading differs from true north by the local magnetic declination. A runway numbered 09 points east, runway 18 is south, runway 27 points west and runway 36 points to the north; when taking off from or landing on runway 09, a plane is heading around 90°. A runway can be used in both directions, is named for each direction separately: e.g. "runway 15" in one direction is "runway 33" when used in the other. The two numbers differ by 18.
For clarity in radio communications, each digit in the runway name is pronounced individually: runway one-five, runway three-three, etc.. A leading zero, for example in "runway zero-six" or "runway zero-one-left", is included for all ICAO and some U. S. military airports. However, most U. S. civil aviation airports drop the leading zero. This includes some military airfields such as Cairns Army Airfield; this American anomaly may lead to inconsistencies in conversations between American pilots and controllers in other countries. It is common in a country such as Canada for a controller to clear an incoming American aircraft to, for example, runway 04, the pilot read back the clearance as runway 4. In flight simulation programs those of American origin might apply U. S. usage to airports around the world. For example, runway 05 at Halifax will appear on the program as the single digit 5 rather than 05. If there is more than one runway pointing in the same direction, each runway is identified by appending left and right to the number to identify its position — for example, runways one-five-left, one-five-center, one-five-right.
Runway zero-three-left becomes runway two-one-right. In some countries, regulations mandate that where parallel runways are too close to each other, only one may be used at a time under certain conditions. At large airports with four or more parallel runways some runway identifiers are shifted by 1 to avoid the ambiguity that would result with more than three parallel runways. For example, in Los Angeles, this system results in runways 6L, 6R, 7L, 7R though all four runways are parallel at 69°. At Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, there are five parallel runways, named 17L, 17C, 17R, 18L, 18R, all oriented at a heading of 175.4°. An airport with only three parallel runways may use different runway identifiers, such as when a third parallel runway was opened at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport in 2000 to the south of existing 8R/26L — rather than confusingly becoming the "new" 8R/26L it was instead designated 7R/25L, with the former 8R/26L becoming 7L/25R and 8L/26R becoming 8/26.
Runway designations may change over time because Earth's magnetic lines drift on the surface and the magnetic direction changes. Depending on the airport location and how much drift occurs, it may be necessary to change the runway designation; as runways are designated with headings rounded to the nearest 10°, this affects some runways sooner than others. For example, if the magnetic heading of a runway is 233°, it is designated Runway 23. If the magnetic heading changes downwards by 5 degrees to 228°, the runway remains Runway 23. If on the other hand the original magnetic heading was 226°, the heading decreased by only 2 degrees to 224°, the runway becomes Runway 22; because magnetic drift itself is slow, runway designation changes are uncommon, not welcomed, as they require an accompanying change in aeronautical charts and descriptive documents. When runway designations do change at major airports, it is changed at night as taxiway signs need to be changed and the huge numbers at each end of the runway need to be repainted to the new runway designators.
In July 2009 for example, London Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom changed its runway designations from 05/23 to 04/22 during the night. For fixed-wing aircraft it is advantageous to perform takeoffs and landings into the wind to reduce takeoff or landing roll and reduce the ground speed needed to attain flying speed. Larger airports have several runways in different directions, so that one can be selected, most nearly aligned with the wind. Airports with one runway are constructed to be aligned with the prevailing wind. Compiling a wind rose is in fact one of the preliminary steps taken in constructing airport runways. Note that wind direction is given as the direction the wind is coming from: a plane taking off from runway 09 faces east, into an "east wind" blowing from 090°. Runway dimensions vary from as small as 245 m long and 8 m wide in s
Yorkton is a city located in south-eastern Saskatchewan, Canada. It is about 450 kilometres north-west of Winnipeg and 300 kilometres south-east of Saskatoon and is the sixth largest in the province; as of 2017 the census population of the city was 19,643. Yorkton has had a growth rate of 4.3% since 2011. Yorkton was founded in 1882 and incorporated as a city in 1928; the city is bordered by the RM of Orkney No. 244 to the west and the RM of Wallace No. 243 on the east. In 1882 a group of businessmen and investors formed the York Farmers Colonization Company. Authorized to issue up to $300,000 in debentures and lenient government credit terms on land purchases encouraged company representatives to visit the District of Assiniboia of the North-West Territories with the intent to view some crown land available near the Manitoba border, they were impressed with what they saw and the group purchased portions of 6 townships near the Little Whitesand River for the purpose of settlement and to establish a centre for trade there.
This centre would become known as York Colony. The company founded the settlers' colony on the banks of the Little Whitesand River where lots were given to settlers who purchased land from them; the colony remained at its site until 1889. It was located at PT SE 1/4 13-26-4 W2M. In 1889 the rail line was extended to the Yorkton area, it was at this time the colony townsite relocated alongside the new rail line. Yorkton is located in the aspen parkland ecosystem; the terrain is one of agriculture and there is no forestry industry. It is in an area of black calcareous chernozemic soils; the Yorkton area was located on the edge of an area of a maximum glacial lake. The quaternary geology has left the area as a moraine plain consisting of glacial deposits; the bedrock geology is the pembina member of Vermillion River Formation and Riding Mountain Formation. Yorkton is located in the physiographic region of the Quill Lake-Yorkton Plain region of the Saskatchewan Plains Region. Yorkton has a humid continental climate, with extreme seasonal temperatures.
It has warm summers and cold winters, with the average daily temperatures ranging from −17.9 °C in January to 17.8 °C in July. The highest temperature recorded in Yorkton was 40.6 °C on 19 July 1941. The coldest temperature recorded was −46.1 °C on 20 January 1943. On the evening of July 1, 2010, Yorkton received a severe thunderstorm warning. Soon after, Yorkton was experiencing pea sized hail, strong winds and heavy rain; the rain created a flash flood. Broadway Street received the worst of the flood with local businesses being damaged, with one being destroyed; the City of Yorkton declared a State of Emergency and the Canadian Red Cross helped out with the victims of the flood. On the weekend of June 29, 2014, Yorkton declared a State of Emergency after rain caused flash floods in south eastern Saskatchewan; the first settlers to the Yorkton colony were English from Great Britain. 6 miles west were Scottish settlers at the settlement of Orkney. A significant number of residents are descended from immigrants from Ukraine who came in the early 20th century.
The city of Yorkton, the Rural Municipality of Orkney No. 244, the town of Springside and the village of Ebenezer form the census agglomeration of Yorkton, Saskatchewan with a combined 2011 population of 18,238 on a land area of 843.37 square kilometres. The Yorkton Gallagher Centre is an entertainment complex constructed in 1977 by the civic government and the Yorkton Exhibition Association; the centre includes curling rink, conference rooms and an indoor swimming pool. Until 2005, the facility was called the Parkland Agriplex. In the early 1900s an older Agriplex building was located on the fair grounds adjacent to the Gallagher Centre. Yorkton is home to a branch of the Saskatchewan Western Development Museum, which houses a number of exhibits depicting pioneer life in the town and on the surrounding prairie; the museum includes an early pioneer log home and an extensive outdoor exhibit of agricultural machinery, including early tractors and steam engines. Located on several buildings in downtown Yorkton are murals depicting historic personalities.
A number of heritage buildings are located within the city. Yorkton Tower Theatre is a single screen movie theatre built in the 1950s. Army Navy and Air Force Veterans Building, Dulmage Farmstead, Hudson's Bay Company Store, St. Paul's Lutheran Church, Yorkton Armoury, Yorkton Court House, 29 Myrtle Avenue, 81 Second Avenue North, Old Land Titles Building and Yorkton Organic Milling Ltd are listed historic places. Film Festivals have been an enduring part of life in Yorkton since the projector spun to life in October 1950. At that time the Yorkton International Documentary Film Festival was born; the international component was dropped in 1977. The festival renamed itself the Yorkton Short Film Festival in 1977. In 2009 it became the Yorkton Film Festival; the city of Yorkton hosted the 1999 Royal Bank Cup, the 2006 World Junior A Challenge and the 2009 Canada Cup of Curling. The Yorkton Terriers are a team in the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League; the Yorkton Rawtec Maulers are a Midget AAA ice hockey team and they are a member of the SMAAAHL.
The teams play their games in the 2,300 seat Farrell Agencies Arena in the Yorkton Gallagher CentreYorkton Cardinals are a baseball team playing in the Western Major Baseball League. The Yorkton Bulldogs are a retired box lacrosse team formed in 2003, they are a member of the Prairie Gold Lacrosse League. The curren
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