A country known for its bacon, maple syrup, and ice hockey, Canada is the neighboring country of the United States that many people, including myself, do not know much about. Sure, it is common knowledge that Canada has French cultural roots and many still speak the language, but there is more that this country has to offer. Canada is considered a major country in the world and is the second largest after Russia which makes it important that people know a little more about it.
United States and Canada have several things in common such as, the religions they practice as well as the food that they farm yet, there still is a lot of differences to explore. By researching lasting effects of colonization/decolonization, culture wars/western “civilizing” missions, environmental justice, and unnaturalness of natural disasters will allow one to understand both geographic concepts and their impacts and influences on Canada. Developmentally countries differ from one another and have a different way of thinking overall.
The colonization of Canada developed their language and foundation of the country. The French settlers founded two colonies in the 17th century in the upper portion of North America: Acadia, which we now know as Nova Scotia, and New France, a now province of Quebec. The 14,000 that lived in Acadia were deported by the English between 1755 and 1763. The people returned and settled in New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia, Canada. With only about 70,000 people New France became a British colony in 1763. The British then took over, and immigration to this area reduced and didn’t start again until the early 20th century (Mcullough, 2018).
Most of the Canadians in the present day trace their roots to somewhere in the British Isles. Canada is a bilingual country where French and English are their two primary languages because of the colonization yet, half of the population, claim English as their first and only langue. French speaking Canadians, who are also known as Francophones, are a smaller percentage of the population of the country as a whole.
However, they make up more than 90 percent of the population in Quebec where French is a part of daily life. Otherwise, a French speaking native is considered rare. According to a recent census, the population of French speaking Canada that reside out of Quebec is slowly declining due to the assimilation of the English-speaking majority (Languages in Canada, 2018).
Acadians and French Speaking Canadians understand each other even though there are some small differences in the type of French they speak. Acadian French has distinctive phonetic features such as the use of the vowel “u” instead of the open “o.” This type of French also includes numerous words that originate from the area of France that they migrated from. Canadian French is spoken across a wider geographic area and has certain differences in vocabulary and pronunciation based off of where it is being spoken.
It is different from European French that displays variety in different regions over a smaller area. English language also influenced Canadian French most prominently in the 19th and 20th century. During that time French culture was dominated by the English which led to many words and their meanings being integrated in the French Language. Known as Canadian Purists, many believe it is important to preserve the culture of the Canadian French and have worked to change this English influence on the language (Mcullough, 2018).
In the early times of the colonists, Canada had many characteristics within its culture that were important. After being colonized, their religion and beliefs have changed in different ways. Typically, Canadians are free in what they want to believe in. The country has no official religion yet, does mention “God” in the national anthem. The official French version of Canada’s national anthem contains a religious avoidance stating that they are ready to carry the sword and cross. Two-thirds of the Canadian population has identified themselves as Catholic or Protestant yet, in the last four decades the numbers have fallen about 10%. The number of Canadians that believe in other religions or are unaffiliates, are growing. In the present day, Canadians are less affiliated with religions because on the new generations (Wormald, 2013).
Canada is a country with significant cultural differences across all its regions. In 1867, Canada became self-governing but by the time of 1982, it served its colonial ties with Britain. Along with Canada having two languages, it also has dual nationality. This dual heritage dominates the political and societal issues pertaining to the country and has, to a certain extent, restricted its people. The restriction on its people, caused social differences on gender. Most households of people in Canada were married couple yet recent in 2010, the statistic dropped. Single parenting was an extremely common thing. Now, there are smaller households and an increase in as single household along with women working outside their household and men taking equally responsibility of house tasks. Women did not just work around the house, they are allowed to be independent and work in an environment that is not just their home. The colonization has changed the Canadian way of living (“Canada Guide”, 2017).
Indigenous people have been in Canada since the beginning of time. They are the original inhabitants of the land that is known as Canada. About 5% of the national population as of 2016, has identified themselves as indigenous. Since they are still around in the present day, they form complex social, political, economic and cultural systems before Europeans came to North America therefore, they demand to be treated equal as other citizens (Parrott, 2007).
The amount of Indigenous people in Canada is growing rapidly. Indigenous people created their own communities in different regions of Canada as well as seek environmental justice. They focus on disproportionate exposure and burden of environmental toxins to different groups of people and suggest that everyone should have the right to a clean/safe environment. Their social conditions differ according to the place they live, income level, and family and cultural factors. (Sawchuk, 2011)
Not like most countries, Canada receives all five seasons all year round. Since Canada borders three oceans, stretches across time zones, encompasses mountains, plains, forests and tundra it hosts several different types of weather patterns. With all these landforms and weather conditions, it is a high possibility of serve weather and geological events that can result in natural hazards. Canadas location, in the world, makes them vulnerable to have several different types of hazards. Floods are the most frequent natural hazard that happens in Canada.
They are most often caused by heavy rainfall, rapid melting of a think snow fall, ice jams, or even the failure of a natural or man-made dam. Floods are also the most costly natural hazard that occur in Canada in terms of property damage. Any human that lives or had lived in Canada, they have more than likely been in the presents of a flood (Government of Canada, 2015).
Typically, floods happen in the countryside or in the cities at any time of the year. If someone lives in a neighborhood or in an area prone to flooding, they are the most vulnerable to this specific natural hazard. There is nothing natural about a natural disaster. Being struck by a flood can exposed to the wealth and the poor depending on the location of the house. Water damage is the most common causes of insurance claims yet not all homeowner insurance policies cover it. All people of Canada are vulnerable to the occurrence of flooding where they live. (Seafirst Insurance, 2017).
In conclusion, Canada is a country that has an ample amount of opportunities along with geographic concepts that impacts and influences and encourage people to live there. As one of the largest countries in the world, it is important to be educated about this country. I have learned a great deal of geological concepts in this class and glad I was able to research and educate myself, and others, about the country of Canada. This bilingual country has changed significantly from early colonization, consists of indigenous people from the past and receives several different types of natural hazards. Canada’s geography and historic development have shaped Canada into the great country it is today.