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Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of
Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocea ...

Canada
. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, many (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being ''Canadian''. Canada is a multilingual and
multicultural The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology, political philosophy, and colloquial use. In sociology and in everyday usage, it is a synonym for "Pluralism (political theory), ethnic pluralism", with the two ...

multicultural
society home to people of groups of many different ethnic, religious, and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of
Old World The Old World consists of Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any ...
immigrants Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an individual's birth, residence or citizenship ...
and their descendants. Following the initial period of
French
French
and then the much larger British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today. Elements of Indigenous, French, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages, and religions have combined to form the
culture of Canada The culture of Canada embodies the artistic, culinary, literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, dram ...
, and thus a
Canadian identity Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atla ...
. Canada has also been strongly influenced by its linguistic, geographic, and economic neighbour—the United States. Canadian independence from the United Kingdom grew gradually over the course of many years following the formation of the Canadian Confederation in 1867.
World War I World War I, often abbreviated as WWI or WW1, also known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war A world war is "a war engaged in by all or most of the principal nations of the world". The term is usually reserved for ...

World War I
and
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved —including all of the great powers—forming two opposing s: the and the . In a total war directly involving m ...
in particular, gave rise to a desire among Canadians to have their country recognized as a fully-fledged sovereign state with a distinct citizenship. Legislative independence was established with the passage of the ''
Statute of Westminster 1931 The Statute of Westminster 1931 is an act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom In the United Kingdom an Act of Parliament is primary legislation In parliamentary systems and presidential systems of government, primary legislation and ...
'', the Canadian ''Citizenship Act'' of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, and full sovereignty was achieved with the
patriation Patriation is the political process that led to full Canadian sovereignty The sovereignty of Canada is a major cultural matter in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, te ...
of the constitution in 1982.
Canada's nationality law Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into the Arctic Ocea ...
closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom. Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to
multilateralism In international relations, multilateralism refers to an alliance of multiple countries pursuing a common goal. Definitions Multilateralism, in the form of membership in international institutions, serves to bind powerful nations, discourage ...
and
socioeconomic development Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science that studies how economic activity affects and is shaped by social processes. In general it analyzes how modern society, societies social progress, progress, economic stagnation ...
.


Population

As of 2010, Canadians make up only 0.5% of the
world's total population
world's total population
, having relied upon immigration for population growth and social development. Approximately 41% of current Canadians are first- or second-generation immigrants, and 20% of Canadian residents in the 2000s were not born in the country.
Statistics Canada Statistics Canada (StatCan; french: Statistique Canada), formed in 1971, is the agency Agency may refer to: * a governmental or other institution Institutions, according to Samuel P. Huntington, are "stable, valued, recurring patterns of ...
projects that, by 2031, nearly one-half of Canadians above the age of 15 will be
foreign-born Foreign-born (also non-native) people are those born outside of their country of residence. Foreign born are often non-citizens, but many are naturalized citizens of the country in which they live, and others are citizens by descent, typically thr ...
or have one foreign-born parent.
Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as first peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or autochthonous peoples, are culturally distinct e ...
, according to the
2016 Canadian Census The 2016 Canadian Census is the most recent detailed enumeration of Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadia ...
, numbered at 1,673,780 or 4.9% of the country's 35,151,728 population.


Immigration

While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the
New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country primarily located in Western Europe, consisting of metropolitan Franc ...

New France
settlements, in present-day
Quebec ) , image_shield=Armoiries du Québec.svg , image_flag=Flag of Quebec.svg , coordinates= , AdmittanceDate=July 1, 1867 , AdmittanceOrder=1st, with New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , ...

Quebec
and
Ontario ("Loyal she began, loyal she remains") , Label_map = yes , image_map = Ontario in Canada 2.svg , map_alt = Map showing Ontario's location east/central of Canada. , coordinates = , capi ...

Ontario
; and
Acadia Acadia (french: link=no, Acadie) was a colony of New France New France (french: Nouvelle-France) was the area colonized by France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a country pri ...

Acadia
, in present-day
Nova Scotia ) , image_map = Nova Scotia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English (''de facto'') , RegionalLang = French, Scots Gaelic , capital ...

Nova Scotia
and
New Brunswick ("Hope restored") , image_map = New Brunswick in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , capital = Fredericton Fredericton (; ) is the capital of the Provinces and territor ...

New Brunswick
, during the early part of the 17th century. Approximately 100 Irish-born families would settle the Saint Lawrence Valley by 1700, assimilating into the ''Canadien'' population and culture. During the 18th and 19th century; immigration westward (to the area known as
Rupert's Land Rupert's Land (french: Terre de Rupert), or Prince Rupert's Land, was a territory in British North America comprising the Hudson Bay drainage basin, a territory in which a commercial monopoly was operated by the Hudson's Bay Company for 200 ...
) was carried out by "
Voyageurs The voyageurs (; ) were 18th and 19th century French Canadians French Canadians (also referred to as Canadiens; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ), or Franco-Canadians (french: Franco-Canadiens), are an ethnic group An ethni ...
"; French settlers working for the
North West Company The North West Company was a fur trading business headquartered in Montreal Montreal ( ; officially Montréal, ) is the second-most populous city in Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and t ...
; and by
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people, nationals or natives of the United Kingdom, British Overseas Territories, and Crown Dependencies. ** Britishness, the British identity and common culture * British English, ...
settlers (
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...
and
Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish English *Scottish national identity, the Scottish iden ...
) representing the
Hudson's Bay Company The Hudson's Bay Company (HBC; french: Compagnie de la Baie d'Hudson) is a Canadian, now American-owned, retail Retail is the sale of goods In economics Economics () is the social science that studies how people interact with va ...
, coupled with independent entrepreneurial woodsman called "
Coureur des bois A coureur des bois (; ) or coureur de bois (; plural: coureurs de(s) bois) was an independent entrepreneurial French-Canadian French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century ; french: Canadiens français, ; fem ...

Coureur des bois
". This arrival of newcomers led to the creation of the
Métis The Métis (; ) are Indigenous peoples Indigenous peoples, also referred to as First people, Aboriginal people, Native people, or autochthonous people, are culturally distinct ethnic groups who are native to a particular place. The term ' ...
, an ethnic group of mixed European and
First Nations The First Nations (french: Premières Nations ) are groups of Canadian indigenous peoples, who are classified as distinct from the Inuit Inuit (; iu, ᐃᓄᐃᑦ 'the people', singular: Inuk, , dual: Inuuk, ) are a group of culturally s ...
parentage. The British conquest of New France was preceded by a small number of
Germans Germans (, ) are the natives or inhabitants of Germany ) , image_map = , map_caption = , map_width = 250px , capital = Berlin , coordinates = , largest_city = capital , languages_type = Official language , languages = German lan ...
and
Swedes Swedes ( sv, svenskar) are a North Germanic The North Germanic languages make up one of the three branches of the Germanic languages—a sub-family of the Indo-European languages—along with the West Germanic languages and the extinct East ...
who settled alongside the Scottish in Port Royal, Nova Scotia, while some
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland, an island situated off the north-western coast of continental Europe ** Northern Ireland, a constituent unit of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and North ...
immigrated to the
Colony of Newfoundland Newfoundland Colony was an English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually ...
. In the wake of the British
Conquest of 1760 Conquest is the act of military A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare. It is typically officially authorized and maintained by a sovereign state, wi ...
and the
Expulsion of the Acadians The Expulsion of the Acadians, also known as the Great Upheaval, the Great Expulsion, the Great Deportation, and the Deportation of the Acadians ( French: or ), was the forced removal by the British of the Acadian people The Acadians ( ...
, many families from the British colonies in
New England New England is a region comprising six states in the Northeastern United States The Northeastern United States (also referred to as the American Northeast, the Northeast, and the East Coast) is a geographical region In geography G ...

New England
moved over into Nova Scotia and other colonies in Canada, where the British made farmland available to British settlers on easy terms. More settlers arrived during and after the
American Revolutionary War The American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), also known as the Revolutionary War and the American War of Independence, was initiated by delegates from thirteen American colonies of British America British America comprised the colonia ...
, when approximately 60,000
United Empire Loyalist United Empire Loyalists (or simply Loyalists) is an honorific which was first given by Guy Carleton, 1st Baron Dorchester, the 1st Lord Dorchester, the Governor of Province of Quebec (1763–1791), Quebec, and Governor General of Canada, Governor ...
s fled to
British North America British North America comprised the British Empire The British Empire was composed of the dominions, Crown colony, colonies, protectorates, League of Nations mandate, mandates, and other Dependent territory, territories ruled or adminis ...
, a large portion of whom settled in New Brunswick. After the
War of 1812 The War of 1812 (18 June 1812 – 17 February 1815) was a conflict fought by the and its against and its allies in , with limited participation by in . It began when the US declared war on 18 June 1812 and although peace terms were agreed i ...
, British (including British army regulars), Scottish, and Irish immigration was encouraged throughout Rupert's Land,
Upper Canada The Province of Upper Canada (french: link=no, province du Haut-Canada) was a Province, part of The Canadas, British Canada established in 1791 by the Kingdom of Great Britain, to govern the central third of the lands in British North Americ ...
and
Lower Canada The Province of Lower Canada (french: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony on the lower Saint Lawrence River The Saint Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America. The Saint Lawrence River flows in a rough ...
. Between 1815 and 1850, some 800,000 immigrants came to the colonies of British North America, mainly from the
British Isles The British Isles are a in the North off the north-western coast of , consisting of the islands of , , the , the and over six thousand smaller islands."British Isles", ' They have a total area of and a combined population of almost 72&nb ...

British Isles
as part of the
Great Migration of Canada The Great Migration of Canada (also known as the Great Migration from Britain or the second wave of immigration to Canada) was a period of high immigration to Canada Immigration to Canada is the process by which people migrate to Canada C ...
. These new arrivals included some Gaelic-speaking
Highland Scots The Highlands ( sco, the Hielands; gd, a’ Ghàidhealtachd , 'the place of the Gaels The Gaels (; ga, Na Gaeil ; gd, Na Gàidheil ; gv, Ny Gaeil ) are an ethnolinguistic group native to Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Sc ...
displaced by the
Highland Clearances The Highland Clearances ( gd, Fuadaichean nan Gàidheal , the "eviction of the Gaels The Gaels (; ga, Na Gaeil ; gd, Na Gàidheil ; gv, Ny Gaeil ) are an ethnolinguistic group native to Ireland Ireland (; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots ...
to Nova Scotia. The Great Famine of Ireland of the 1840s significantly increased the pace of Irish immigration to
Prince Edward Island (''The small protected by the great'') , image_map = Prince Edward Island in Canada (special marker) 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = English language, English (''d ...

Prince Edward Island
and the
Province of Canada The Province of Canada (or the United Province of Canada or the United Canadas) (french: link=no, Province du Canada) was a British North America, British colony in North America from 1841 to 1867. Its formation reflected recommendations mad ...
, with over 35,000 distressed individuals landing in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the most populous city in Canada and the fourth most populous city in North America. The city is the anch ...

Toronto
in 1847 and 1848. Descendants of Francophone and Anglophone northern Europeans who arrived in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are often referred to as
Old Stock Canadians Old Stock Canadians is a term referring to European Canadians European Canadians (french: les Canadiens Européens), also known as Euro-Canadians, are Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada ...
. Beginning in the late 1850s, the immigration of Chinese into the
Colony of Vancouver Island The Colony of Vancouver Island, officially known as the Island of Vancouver and its Dependencies, was a Crown colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory ...
and Colony of British Columbia peaked with the onset of the
Fraser Canyon Gold Rush The Fraser Canyon Gold Rush, (also Fraser Gold Rush and Fraser River Gold Rush) began in 1858 after gold Gold is a chemical element with the Symbol (chemistry), symbol Au (from la, aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher ato ...
. The '' Chinese Immigration Act'' eventually placed a head tax on all Chinese immigrants, in hopes of discouraging Chinese immigration after completion of the
Canadian Pacific Railway descending from Rogers Pass (British Columbia), Rogers Pass The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) , known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996 and simply Canadian Pacific, is a historic Canada, Canadian Class I railway incorporated in 1881. The ra ...
. Additionally, growing
South Asian South Asia is the southern region of Asia Asia () is a landmass variously described as part of Eurasia Eurasia () is the largest continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention ( ...
immigration into British Columbia during the early 1900sSingh, Hira, p
94Archive
.
led to the ''
Continuous journey regulation The continuous journey regulation was a restriction placed by the Canadian government that (ostensibly) prevented those who, "in the opinion of the Minister of the Interior," did not "come from the country of their birth or citizenship by a contin ...
'' act of 1908 which indirectly halted
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
immigration to Canada, as later evidenced by the infamous 1914 ''Komagata Maru'' incident. The
population of Canada Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, Pacific and northward into th ...
has consistently risen, doubling approximately every 40 years, since the establishment of the Canadian Confederation in 1867. In the mid-to-late 19th century, Canada had a policy of assisting immigrants from Europe, including an estimated 100,000 unwanted "
Home Children Home Children was the child migration scheme founded by Annie MacPherson in 1869, under which more than 100,000 children were sent from the United Kingdom to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa. The programme was largely discontinued ...
" from Britain.
Block settlement A block settlement (or bloc settlement) is a particular type of land distribution which allows settlers A settler is a person who has migrated to an area and established a permanent residence there, often to colonize the area. A settler w ...
communities were established throughout
western Canada Western Canada, also referred to as the Western Provinces and more commonly known as the West, is a region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study ...
between the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some were planned and others were spontaneously created by the settlers themselves. Canada was now receiving a large number of European immigrants, predominantly
Italians Italians ( it, italiani ) are a Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attr ...
, Germans,
Scandinavia Scandinavia; : ''Skadesi-suolu''/''Skađsuâl''. ( ) is a in , with strong historical, cultural, and linguistic ties. In English usage, ''Scandinavia'' can refer to , , and , sometimes more narrowly to the , or more broadly to include , th ...

Scandinavia
ns,
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...

Dutch
,
Poles The Poles,, ; singular masculine: ''Polak'', singular feminine: ''Polka'' or Polish people, are a nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis of a combination of shared features such as language, history, ethnicity, culture ...

Poles
, and
Ukrainians , native_name_lang = uk , image = , caption = , population = 37-40 million , popplace = 37,541,693 , region1 = , pop1 = 3,269,992 , ref1 = , region2 = ...
. Legislative restrictions on immigration (such as the Continuous journey regulation and ''Chinese Immigration Act'') that had favoured British and other European immigrants were amended in the 1960s, opening the doors to immigrants from all parts of the world. While the 1950s had still seen high levels of immigration by Europeans, by the 1970s immigrants were increasingly Chinese, Indian,
Vietnamese Vietnamese may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Vietnam, a country in Southeast Asia ** A citizen of Vietnam. See Demographics of Vietnam. * Vietnamese people, or Kinh people, a Southeast Asian ethnic group native to Vietnam ** Oversea ...

Vietnamese
, Jamaican, and
Haiti Haiti (; ht, Ayiti ; french: Haïti ), officially the Republic of Haiti (; ), and formerly known as Hayti, is a country located on the island of Hispaniola in the Greater Antilles archipelago of the Caribbean Sea, to the east of Cuba and J ...

Haiti
an. During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Canada received many
American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or America, is ...
Vietnam War {{Infobox military conflict , conflict = Vietnam War , partof = the Indochina Wars The Indochina Wars ( vi, Chiến tranh Đông Dương) were a series of wars fought in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled ...
draft dissenters. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Canada's growing Pacific trade brought with it a large influx of
South Asians South Asian ethnic groups are ethnolinguistic composition of the diverse population of South Asia South Asia is the southern region of Asia, which is defined in both geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The region cons ...
, who tended to settle in
British Columbia ( en, Splendour without diminishment) , image_map = British Columbia in Canada 2.svg , Label_map = yes , coordinates = , official_lang = None , Slogan = Beautiful British C ...

British Columbia
. Immigrants of all backgrounds tend to settle in the major urban centres. The Canadian public, as well as the major political parties, are tolerant of immigrants. The majority of
illegal immigrants Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration law Immigration law refers to the national statuteA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrumen ...

illegal immigrants
come from the southern provinces of the People's Republic of China, with Asia as a whole,
Eastern Europe Eastern Europe is the eastern region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical reg ...

Eastern Europe
,
Caribbean The Caribbean (, ; es, Caribe; french: Caraïbes; ht, Karayib; also gcf, label=Antillean Creole Antillean Creole (Antillean French Creole, Kreyol, Kwéyòl, Patois) is a French-based creole, which is primarily spoken in the Lesser Antilles ...
,
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of i ...

Africa
, and the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
. Estimates of numbers of illegal immigrants range between 35,000 and 120,000.


Citizenship and diaspora

Canadian citizenship Canadian nationality (french: Nationalité canadienne) is regulated by the ''Citizenship Act'' (, 1985, c. C-29) since 1977. The Act determines who is, or is eligible to be, a citizen Citizenship is the status of a person recognized under t ...
is typically obtained by birth in Canada or by birth or adoption abroad when at least one biological parent or adoptive parent is a Canadian citizen who was born in Canada or naturalized in Canada (and did not receive citizenship by being born outside of Canada to a Canadian citizen). It can also be granted to a
permanent resident Permanent residency is a person's legal resident status in a country or territory of which such person is not a citizen Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is e ...
who lives in Canada for three out of four years and meets specific requirements. Canada established its own nationality law in 1946, with the enactment of the ''
Canadian Citizenship Act The ''Canadian Citizenship Act'' (french: Loi sur la citoyenneté canadienne; effective 1947–1977), S.C. 1946, c. 15, is an Act of the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, f ...
'' which took effect on January 1, 1947. The ''
Immigration and Refugee Protection Act The ''Immigration and Refugee Protection Act'' (''IRPA'') is an Act of the Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottaw ...
'' was passed by the
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the Canadian federalism, federal legislature of Canada, seated at Parliament Hill in Ottawa, and is composed of three parts: the Monarch, the Senate of Canada, Senate, and the House of C ...

Parliament of Canada
in 2001 as Bill C-11, which replaced the ''Immigration Act'' of 1976 as the primary federal legislation regulating immigration. Prior to the conferring of legal status on Canadian citizenship, Canada's naturalization laws consisted of a multitude of Acts beginning with the ''Immigration Act'' of 1910. According to
Citizenship and Immigration Canada Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC; french: Immigration, Réfugiés et Citoyenneté Canada; legally incorporated, and formerly known as the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, CIC) is the department of the Government ...
, there are three main classifications for immigrants: ''Family class'' (persons closely related to Canadian residents), ''Economic class'' (admitted on the basis of a point system that accounts for age, health and labour-market skills required for cost effectively inducting the immigrants into Canada's labour market) and ''Refugee class'' (those seeking protection by applying to remain in the country by way of the
Canadian immigration and refugee law Canadian immigration and refugee law concerns the area of law related to the admission of foreign nationals into Canada, their rights and responsibilities once admitted, and the conditions of their removal. The primary law on these matters is in ...
). In 2008, there were 65,567 immigrants in the family class, 21,860 refugees, and 149,072 economic immigrants amongst the 247,243 total immigrants to the country. Canada resettles over one in 10 of the world's
refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person Forced displacement (also forced migration) is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region In geography, regions are areas that are broa ...

refugee
s and has one of the highest per-capita immigration rates in the world. As of a 2010 report by the
Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APF Canada), created by an Act of Parliament in 1984, is an independent, not-for-profit think-tank on Canada Asia Relations, Canada's relations with Asia. Based in Vancouver, with a secondary office in Toront ...
, there were 2.8 million Canadian diaspora, Canadian citizens abroad. This represents about 8% of the total Canadian population. Of those living abroad, the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Taiwan, China, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, and Australia have the largest Canadian diaspora. Canadians in the United States constitute the greatest single expatriate community at over 1 million in 2009, representing 35.8% of all Canadians abroad. Under current Canadian law, Canada does not restrict dual citizenship, but Passport Canada encourages its citizens to travel abroad on their Canadian passport so that they can access Canadian consulate, consular services.


Ethnic ancestry

According to the Canada 2016 Census, 2016 census, the country's largest Ethnic origins of people in Canada, self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32% of the population), followed by English Canadian, English (18.3%), Scottish Canadian, Scottish (13.9%), French Canadian, French (13.6%), Irish Canadian, Irish (13.4%), Canadians of German ethnicity, German (9.6%), Chinese Canadian, Chinese (5.1%), Italian Canadians, Italian (4.6%), First Nations (4.4%), Indo-Canadians, Indian (4.0%), and Ukrainian Canadian, Ukrainian (3.9%). There are 600 recognized List of First Nations peoples, First Nations governments or bands, encompassing a total of 1,525,565 people. The population of Indigenous peoples in Canada is growing at almost twice the national rate, and four percent of Canada's population claimed an indigenous identity in 2006. Another 22.3 percent of the population belonged to a non-indigenous visible minority. In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were South Asian Canadian, South Asian (5.6%), Chinese (5.1%), and Black Canadians, Black (3.5%). Between 2011 and 2016, the visible minority population rose by 18.4 percent. In 1961, less than two percent of Canada's population (about 300,000 people) were members of visible minority groups. Indigenous peoples are not considered a visible minority under the ''Employment equity (Canada), Employment Equity Act'', and this is the definition that Statistics Canada also uses.


Culture

Culture of Canada, Canadian culture is primarily a Western culture, with influences by First Nations and other cultures. It is a product of its ethnicities, languages, religions, Politics of Canada, political, and Law of Canada, legal system(s). Canada has been shaped by waves of migration that have combined to form a unique blend of Canadian art, art, Canadian cuisine, cuisine, Canadian literature, literature, Canadian humour, humour, and Music of Canada, music. Today, Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and constitutional protection for policies that promote multiculturalism rather than cultural assimilation. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a Culture of Quebec, Quebec culture distinct from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is a cultural mosaic: a collection of several regional, indigenous, and ethnic subcultures. Canadian government policies such as Official bilingualism in Canada, official bilingualism; Health care in Canada, publicly funded health care; Income taxes in Canada, higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing Capital punishment in Canada, capital punishment; strong efforts to eliminate poverty in Canada, poverty; strict Gun politics in Canada, gun control; the legalizing of Same-sex marriage in Canada, same-sex marriage, Abortion in Canada, pregnancy terminations, Euthanasia in Canada, euthanasia and Cannabis in Canada, cannabis are social indicators of Canada's political and Canadian values, cultural values. American media and entertainment are popular, if not dominant, in English Canada; conversely, many Canadian cultural products and entertainers are successful in the United States and worldwide. The Government of Canada has also influenced culture with programs, laws, and institutions. It has created Crown corporations of Canada, Crown corporations to promote Canadian culture through media and has also tried to Canadian cultural protectionism, protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on Canadian content. Canadian culture has historically been influenced by Culture of Europe, European culture and traditions, especially Culture of the United Kingdom, British and Culture of France, French, and by its own Indigenous peoples in Canada#Culture, indigenous cultures. Most of Canada's territory was inhabited and developed later than other European colonies in the Americas, with the result that themes and symbols of pioneers, trappers, and traders were important in the early development of the
Canadian identity Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada Canada is a country in the northern part of North America. Its Provinces and territories of Canada, ten provinces and three territories extend from the Atla ...
. First Nations played a critical part in the development of Former colonies and territories in Canada, European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting exploration of the continent during the North American fur trade. The British conquest of New France in the mid-1700s brought a large Francophone population under Canada under British Imperial control, British Imperial rule, creating a need for compromise and accommodation. The new British rulers left alone much of the religious, political, and social culture of the French-speaking ''habitants'', guaranteeing through the ''Quebec Act'' of 1774 the right of the ''Canadiens'' to practise the Catholic faith and to use Law of France, French civil law (now Quebec law). The ''Constitution Act, 1867'' was designed to meet the growing calls of Canadians for autonomy from British rule, while avoiding the overly strong decentralization that contributed to the American Civil War, Civil War in the United States. The compromises made by the Fathers of Confederation set Canadians on a path to Multilingualism, bilingualism, and this in turn contributed to an acceptance of diversity. The Canadian Forces and overall civilian participation in the Military history of Canada during World War I, First World War and Military history of Canada during World War II, Second World War helped to foster Canadian nationalism, however, in 1917 and 1944, Conscription Crisis of 1917, conscription crisis' highlighted the considerable rift along ethnic lines between Anglophones and Francophones. As a result of the First and Second World Wars, the Government of Canada became more assertive and less deferential to British authority. With the gradual loosening of political ties to the United Kingdom and the modernization of Canadian immigration policies, 20th-century immigrants with Ethnic groups of Africa, African, Caribbean and Ethnic groups in Asia, Asian nationalities have added to the Canadian identity and its culture. The multiple-origins immigration pattern continues today, with the arrival of large numbers of immigrants from non-British or non-French backgrounds. Multiculturalism in Canada was adopted as the official policy of the government during the premiership of Pierre Trudeau in the 1970s and 1980s. The Canadian government has often been described as the instigator of multicultural ideology, because of its public emphasis on the Economic impact of immigration to Canada, social importance of immigration. Multiculturalism is administered by the Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Department of Citizenship and Immigration and reflected in the law through the ''Canadian Multiculturalism Act'' and section 27 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 27 of the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms''.


Religion

Canada as a nation is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of groups, beliefs and customs. The preamble to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, preamble to the ''Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms'' references "God", and the Monarchy of Canada, monarch carries the title of "Fidei defensor, Defender of the Faith". However, Canada has no official religion, and support for religious pluralism (Freedom of religion in Canada) is an important part of Political culture of Canada, Canada's political culture. With the role of Christianity in decline, it having once been central and integral to Canadian culture and daily life, commentators have suggested that Canada has come to enter a Postchristianity, post-Christian period in a secularity, secular state, with Irreligion in Canada, irreligion on the rise. The majority of Canadians consider religion to be unimportant in their daily lives, but still believe in God. The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and within the state. The Canada 2011 Census, 2011 Canadian census reported that 67.3% of Canadians identify as being Christians; of this number, Catholicism, Catholics make up the largest group, accounting for 38.7 percent of the population. The largest Protestant denomination is the United Church of Canada (accounting for 6.1% of Canadians); followed by Anglican Church of Canada, Anglicans (5.0%), and Baptists (1.9%). About 23.9% of Canadians declare Irreligion, no religious affiliation, including Agnosticism, agnostics, Atheism, atheists, Humanism, humanists, and other groups. The remaining are affiliated with non-Christian religions, the largest of which is Islam (3.2%), followed by Hinduism (1.5%), Sikhism (1.4%), Buddhism (1.1%), and Judaism (1.0%). Before the arrival of European colonists and explorers, First Nations followed a wide array of mostly Native American religion, animistic religions. During the colonial period, the French settled along the shores of the Saint Lawrence River, specifically Latin Rite Roman Catholicism, Roman Catholics, including a number of Jesuit missions in North America, Jesuits dedicated to converting indigenous peoples; an effort that eventually proved successful. The first large Protestantism, Protestant communities were formed in the Maritimes after the British conquest of New France, followed by American Protestant settlers displaced by the American Revolution. The late nineteenth century saw the beginning of a substantive shift in Canadian immigration patterns. Large numbers of Irish and southern European immigrants were creating new Roman Catholic communities in English Canada. The settlement of the west brought significant Eastern Orthodox immigrants from Eastern Europe and Mormon and Pentecostal immigrants from the United States. The earliest documentation of Judaism in Canada, Jewish presence in Canada occurs in the 1754 British Army records from the French and Indian War. In 1760, General Jeffrey Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst attacked and won Montreal for the British. In his regiment there were several Jews, including four among his officer corps, most notably Lieutenant Aaron Hart (businessman), Aaron Hart who is considered the father of Canadian Jewry. The Islam in Canada, Islamic, Jainism in Canada, Jains, Sikhism in Canada, Sikh, Hinduism in Canada, Hindu, and Buddhism in Canada, Buddhist communities—although small—are as old as the nation itself. The 1871 Canadian Census (Census in Canada, first "Canadian" national census) indicated thirteen Muslims among the populace, while the Sikh population stood at approximately 5,000 by 1908. The first Canadian mosque was constructed in Edmonton, Alberta, Edmonton, in 1938, when there were approximately 700 Muslims in Canada. Buddhism first arrived in Canada when Japanese immigrated during the late 19th century. The first Japanese Buddhist temple in Canada was built in Vancouver in 1905. The influx of immigrants in the late 20th century, with Sri Lankan, Japanese people, Japanese,
Indian Indian or Indians refers to people or things related to India, or to the indigenous people of the Americas, or Aboriginal Australians until the 19th century. People South Asia * Indian people, people of Indian nationality, or people who come ...
and Southeast Asian customs, has contributed to the recent expansion of the Jain, Sikh, Hindu, and Buddhist communities.


Languages

A multitude of languages are used by Canadians, with Canadian English, English and Canadian French, French (the official languages) being the first language, mother tongues of approximately 56% and 21% of Canadians, respectively. As of the 2016 Census, just over 7.3 million Canadians listed a non-official language as their mother tongue. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Chinese (1,227,680 first-language speakers), Punjabi language, Punjabi (501,680), Spanish (458,850), Tagalog language, Tagalog (431,385), Arabic (419,895), German (384,040), and Italian (375,645). Less than one percent of Canadians (just over 250,000 individuals) can speak an Languages of Canada#Aboriginal languages, indigenous language. About half this number (129,865) reported using an indigenous language on a daily basis. Additionally, Canadians speak several sign languages; the number of speakers is unknown of the most spoken ones, American Sign Language (ASL) and Quebec Sign Language (LSQ), as it is of Maritime Sign Language and Plains Indian Sign Language, Plains Sign Talk. There are only 47 speakers of the Inuit sign language Inuit Sign Language, Inuktitut. English and French are recognized by the Constitution of Canada as official languages. All federal government laws are thus enacted in both English and French, with government services available in both languages. Two of Canada's territories give official status to indigenous languages. In Nunavut, Inuktitut and Inuinnaqtun language, Inuinnaqtun are official languages, alongside the national languages of English and French, and Inuktitut is a common vehicular language in territorial government. In the Northwest Territories, the ''Official Languages Act (Northwest Territories), Official Languages Act'' declares that there are eleven different languages: Dene Suline language, Chipewyan, Cree language, Cree, English, French, Gwich'in language, Gwich'in, Inuinnaqtun, Inuktitut, Inuvialuktun, Slavey language, North Slavey, Slavey language, South Slavey, and Dogrib language, Tłįchǫ. Multicultural media in Canada, Multicultural media are widely accessible across the country and offer specialty television channels, newspapers, and other publications in many minority languages. In Canada, as elsewhere in the world of History of colonialism, European colonies, the frontier of European exploration and settlement tended to be a linguistically diverse and fluid place, as cultures using different languages met and interacted. The need for a common means of communication between the indigenous inhabitants and new arrivals for the purposes of trade, and (in some cases) intermarriage, led to the development of Mixed languages. Languages like Michif language, Michif, Chinook Jargon, and Bungi creole tended to be highly localized and were often spoken by only a small number of individuals who were frequently capable of speaking another language. Plains Sign Talk—which functioned originally as a trade language used to communicate internationally and across linguistic borders—reached across Canada, the United States, and into Mexico.


See also

* Canuck * List of Canadians * Persons of National Historic Significance * List of Prime Ministers of Canada


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Further reading

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External links


Canada Year Book 2010
- Statistics Canada
Canada: A People's History - Teacher Resources
- Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Persons of National Historic Significance in Canada
- Parks Canada
Multicultural Canada
- Department of Canadian Heritage

- Library and Archives Canada

– Library and Archives Canada

– Library and Archives Canada {{Authority control Canadian people, Ethnic groups in Canada North American people