Take a trip with me to North America at the start of my fourth (and final) quarter of this Square-a-Day adventure! This week we’re covering my home base, Canada.
A PROUD CANADIAN
Across the world Canadians are known as nice, friendly and humble people (but I may be biased). Canada consists of 10 provinces and three territories, of which I’ve visited six and lived in two. It is the second-largest country by area but has only 10% of the population of the United States, over 35 million people. The country has an extremely large number of lakes, estimated to be around three million, or 60% of the world’s lakes. Because Canada is such a large country you can see everything from mountains to prairies and forests to deserts. And our population is even more diverse; almost half of the population of Toronto, the largest city, were born outside Canada. We’re known for our exports including lumber, agriculture (wheat, beef, fish), energy (oil, gas) and actors. You’re welcome, Hollywood.
Canada has been inhabited by aboriginal people for millennia, from before 24,500 BC. These indigenous people were subjected to disease, war, violence, exploitation, massacres, displacement and disruption. The aboriginal population are known as the First Nations, but that does not include the Inuit and Métis.
European colonization began in the late 15th century when Italian seafarer John Cabot explored Canada’s Atlantic coast for England, although Norsemen settled briefly around 1000 AD in Newfoundland. In 1534, French explorer Jacques Cartier took possession of the St. Lawrence River territory in the name of King Francis I. French explorer Samuel de Champlain arrived in 1603, establishing the first permanent European settlements in Quebec. Fur traders and Catholic missionaries moved further west and south.
The 1783 Treaty of Paris recognized American independence and ceded territories south of the Great Lakes to the United States. Canada was heavily involved in the War of 1812 between the United States and Britain. Large-scale immigration from Britain and Ireland began in 1815; over 626,000 European immigrants landed at Canadian ports between 1825 and 1846. The Act of Union 1840 merged Upper Canada and Lower Canada into a united Province of Canada and the Confederation of Canada occurred on July 1, 1867 – Happy Birthday, Canada!
Canada has participated in both World Wars, the Gulf War, the Afghanistan and Iraq wars and countless North Atlantic Treaty Organization-led missions. On September 11, 2001, Canadians in the East Coast opened their hearts and homes for stranded airline passengers who had to be diverted from the U.S. airports.
The flag of Canada features an 11-pointed, red maple leaf. The number of points has no significance; rather, it was chosen after wind tunnel tests showed it to be the least blurry design under high wind conditions. How very Canadian (read: practical). The maple leaf has been Canada’s symbol for nature and environment since the 18th century. In 1921, King George V proclaimed the official national colours of Canada as red, from Saint George’s Cross, and white, from the French royal emblem since King Charles VII. The flag made its first official appearance on February 15, 1965.
THE SQUARES – WEEK 40
Milestone alert… blanket number eight is complete! Square two is a “W” for the alphabet blanket. Square three is Bargello crochet, Victorian Step.
Square Count: 280
Bonus Squares: 2