What Canada was called before it was Canada?

Originally, Canada was home to the First Nations, who each had their own names for the land. However, they did not have a concept of property possession and country in the same way as later European explorers and settlers.

Then, along came the settlers, Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain, etc. They landed first in present-day Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, and Quebec, and gradually worked their way eastwards.


Parts of Canada were originally called New France, New Britain, and Nova Scotia (New Scotland).

The name "Canada" is believed to come from the Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word "kanata," meaning "village. Legend says that when Cartier asked the name of the local place, the natives thought he meant the word for village.

Before Canada became an independent country, it was divided into New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Upper Canada (Ontario), and Lower Canada (Quebec). Newfoundland remained a separate British colony even after Confederation, and did not join Canada until after World War II.