|We Were All Immigrants|
|"All the facts of history pre-exist in the mind as laws" Emerson|
|There is a saying concerning the history of Canada that: 'the French discovered it, the British founded it and the Irish built it', and certainly our history books would lead us to believe that this is true.
However, Canada was discovered thousands of years before Cartier or any other French explorers ever set foot on it's shores, and by the time of their arrival, the Canadian people were firmly established as a group of independant nations. What the French brought originally was an economic boom, good written accounts of the Canadian people, and some of the first maps of the region, available on the European market.
Many historians believe that the French did little to actually develop Canada. Perhaps because they didn't immediately encroach on established communities, destroy villages and garrison their own habitations (that would come later), but instead chose to live beside and amoung the Canadian people, made it look like a meagre attempt at colonization. However, they didn't need to 'found' Canada because it wasn't lost, and recognized that they must operate here under the established laws of the Canadian people.
Yes, their primary interest was the financial gain of the lucrative fur trade, and to maintain this they would need to establish a presence, but they had no desire to run anyone off, except enemies of their trading partners. Perhaps if they had brought more French settlers to the region they would have presented a formidable force against British invaders, but that would have been contra to their interests.
More settlers would have meant the clearing of more land, that was vital to the very nature of the fur enterprise, and subsequently would have vastly affected the Canadian economy. Make no mistake about it. The Canadian people were enjoying the financial rewards of the Beaver hat market, as well as the military presence of 'men with guns'.
We also have to remember that the Hudson Bay Company was created by the French Coureurs de Bois and that the English did not really 'found' much of Canada, until the Loyalists moved into communities already established by the Canadian people, the Acadians and the French-Canadians.
|So; my Canada was discovered by the Asian Emigrants who crossed the Bering Stait during the last Ice Age; founded by the aboriginal Canadian people, put on the map by the French, overrun by the British and constructed by the Irish immigrants. Of course, this is only to dispel an old myth, and we are actually a nation made up of many cultures, who all lent a hand in our development.|
|What I have discovered after more than thirty years of studying what makes Canadians unique, it's that the basis of our culture was formed by what we now refer to as the First Nations. Almost everything that Canadians are so proud of as a nation, came from them. In Europe at the time when the first French-Canadians and French-Acadians came to settle in Canada; fishing and hunting were sports restricted to the nobility. The First Canadians taught us how to do both and they have become two of our main tourist attractions.
Without the aid of snowshoes and toboggans, most of the early Euro-Canadian pioneers would never have survived the winters in the backwoods; and without the lightweight canoes; the river highways would have been closed to most. The sugar bush, a popular Canadian symbol - First Nations. Sports teams and leagues, fashioned after the well organized Lacrosse Leagues of centuries ago - First Nations. Our democratic government - First Nations. Women's rights - First Nations. Family Units where children are cherished and protected - First Nations. Camping, hiking, love of nature and eventual concern for environment - First Nations. The list goes on and on.
You only have to study European history at the time when Canada was 'discovered', to realize that very little of what makes us uniquely Canadian, was based on their social structure; since the only Europeans with any rights at the time, were the Royal Families, Nobility and Clergy.
Later as other nationalities: the British, Irish, Dutch, Scottish, German, etc.; arrived here to settle, they brought their own customs, which became merged with those already in place, and it is that, that makes us truly unique and truly CANADIAN.
|This section of the site, however, is dedicated to the contribution of the French-Canadians, who initially had very little decision making authority, but were controlled by the musings of the French Court; and the first French settlers who had no authority anywhere.|
|The 'Founding' of Kebec|
|Atlantic Canada - The Early Years|
|French Colonial Period|
|Immigrants Home Page|
|Uniquely Canadian Site Map|
|Victorian Canada Home Page|