Our northern neighbor is made up of ten provinces and
three territories. Canada has six different physical regions that
are quite diverse, from fertile farmlands to rugged mountains.
The largest region is the Canadian Shield, which was carved
out by glaciers. Most people live in the Great Lakes--St.
Lawrence Lowlands, where the climate is mild and the soil is
The colony of New France in the present-day Great Lakes--
St. Lawrence Lowlands was founded by Samuel de Champlain
in 1608. As a result of the French and Indian War, France lost
all of its Canadian land to Britain. In 1791, the Great Lakes--
St. Lawrence region was divided into two colonies: Quebec,
which was mostly French, and Ontario, which was mostly
English. Britain allowed the Canadian colonies to become
provinces in 1838 and approved the Constitution Act in 1867. In
1999, Nunavut became the newest Canadian territory.
Today, Canada has a population of about 30 million people.
It is nation of immigrants, coming mostly from Asia, Africa,
and Latin America. The first people in Canada were Native
American groups such as the Inuit and the Cree. There are
ten major Native American groups in Canada; most live on
reserves. In the 1960s, tensions arose between the two largest
ethnic groups, the English-speaking Canadians and the French
Canadians. In 1982, changes were made in the Canadian
Constitution to make English and French the two official
languages of Canada.