How did Canada Get Its Name?

Canada became a country in 1867 when Canadians and representatives of the British government forged an agreement that entailed setting up a confederation in mainland North America. Canada’s name evolved before it was officially named as such. Before 1867, it was called British North America; however, the name wasn’t very representative of what the confederation stood for because they were no longer under British rule. It didn’t make sense to anyone who was not familiar with the history of why this colony still had “British” in its name even though it was geographically north of the United States and had mostly French and American inhabitants at that time.

As soon as Canada had its constitution, they took up citizenship test Canada, one of the first things they did. The citizenship test Canada is a citizenship exam that allows new immigrants who want citizenship in Canada to apply. The citizenship test Canada consisted of three parts, including a written citizenship exam that has ten questions about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in Canada, and a citizenship interview with an official from Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The official ask five questions about knowledge of Canadian life, history and culture. Finally, they will have to pass a citizenship language exam where one has to speak and understand English or French well enough to become a citizen.

Canada only changed its official name from British North America to Canada after people began protesting against how the term “British” was still included in its name. The first known instance of people protesting against Canada is associated with Great Britain was when Robert Gourlay, an exiled Scot who lived in Toronto, wrote to Earl Grey asking him to change the colony’s name. He argued that including “British” would mean North American colonies had more associations with Great Britain than mainland United States even though they were no longer under British rule.

Why Is Canada Nicknamed the Great White North?

Canada is a vast country located right to the north of the United States. It can be said that Canada is so large and expansive that it can rightly be nicknamed “the Great White North.” But why?

First of all, we can’t forget that much of Canada is covered in snow and ice during its long winter months. This gives the impression that much of the landmass in the northern hemisphere is white rather than green.

But there’s another reason for Canada being called “the Great White North,” one which has been passed throughout human history: because it was nearly impossible for early explorers to find their way back home after getting lost in the snow. The Canadian landscape can be deceptive, filled with deep canyons, rivers that can make you lose your way or freeze to death, and large forests which can swallow up even seasoned explorers.

As Martin Frobisher, an English explorer who came to Canada during its early colonial period said of the Canadian landscape: “We were now in a gulf of the sea; for we could not find any end of it, but still sailed on; thinking that maybe there might be some secret arm or inlet about that deep bay. For this land seemed as if it might be an Island because of the length thereof (for we saw 25 great leagues before us), but because there was no ending at all, we thought it either had no ending or no bottom.”

He would never find his way back to civilization and eventually died of starvation on this trip. Oh well. But Canada was named “the Great White North” for this reason and the above-mentioned white landscape during winter months. It is truly a confusing Canadian territory to explore, making it an apt nickname indeed!

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