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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 North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, ...

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, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% o ...
immigrants Immigration is the international movement of people to a destination country A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective ident ...
and their descendants. Following the initial period of
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...

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 Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express technical proficiency, beauty, emotional power, or conceptual ideas. There is no generally ...
, 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 North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. ...
. 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 global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
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, t ...
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 u ...
and
socioeconomic development Socioeconomics (also known as social economics) is the social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the sci ...
.


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 Canadians, Canadian residents, which counted a population of 35,151,728, a change from its Canada 2011 Census, 2011 population of 33,476,688. The census, conducted by Statistics ...
, 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 French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...
, 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 spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the a ...

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 = , cap ...

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 spanni ...

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 city of the Canadian provinc ...

New Brunswick
, during the early part of the 17th century. Approximately 100 Irish-born families would settle the
Saint Lawrence Valley The St. Lawrence River is a large river in the middle latitudes of North America, flowing from Lake Ontario in a roughly northeasterly direction into the Gulf of St. Lawrence, connecting the Great Lakes to the North Atlantic Ocean and forming th ...
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 y ...
) was carried out by "
Voyageurs The voyageurs (; ) were 18th and 19th century French Canadians French Canadians (referred to as Canadiens mainly before the twentieth century ; french: Canadiens français, ; feminine form: , ) are an ethnic group An ethnic group or 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 . Its extend from the to the ...
; and by
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
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 ...
, 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 trader who traveled in New France and the interior of North America, usually to trade with Indigenous peoples of the Am ...

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 peoples, first nations, aboriginal peoples, native peoples (with these terms often capitalized when referred to relating to specific countries), or au ...
, 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 Germany (german: Deutschland, ), officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in . It is the in Europe after , and the most populous . Germany is situated between the and seas ...
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 Eas ...
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 Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britai ...
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 ...

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 Colonies, thirteen American colonies of British America in Continental Congress ...
, when approximately 60,000
United Empire Loyalist United Empire Loyalists (or simply Loyalists) is an honorific title which was first given by the 1st Lord Dorchester, the Governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executiv ...
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 admini ...
, 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 United States of America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country in . It ...
, 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 part Part, parts or PART may refer to: People *Armi Pärt Armi Pärt (born 18 June 1991) is an Estonian handballer, playing in French D2 for Massy Essonne H ...
and
Lower Canada The Province of Lower Canada (french: province du Bas-Canada) was a British colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, a colony is a territory subject to a form of foreign rule. ...
. 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 group of islands in the North Atlantic off the north-western coast of continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

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 Migration, migra ...
. 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 An ethnolinguistic group (or ethno-linguistic group) is ...
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 English usually ref ...

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 colony Within the British Empire, a Crown colony or royal colony was a colony In political science, ...
, with over 35,000 distressed individuals landing in
Toronto Toronto (, ) is the capital city of the Provinces and territories of Canada, Canadian province of Ontario. With a recorded population of 2,731,571 in 2016 in 2016, it is the List of the largest municipalities in Canada by population, most p ...

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 (french: Canadiens de Vieille Souche) is a term referring to European Canadians European Canadians (french: les Canadiens Européens), also known as Euro-Canadians, are Canadians Canadians (french: Canadiens) are peo ...
. 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 of British North America from 1849 to 1866, after which it was united with the mainland to form the Colony of British Columbia ...
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 In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all ...
. 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 The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) , known as CP Rail between 1968 and 1996 and simply Canadian Pacific, is a historic Canadian Canadians (french: Canadiens) are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be res ...
. 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 Government of Canada, 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 c ...
'' 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 North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any str ...
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 Colonization, or col ...
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 stud ...
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 att ...
, Germans,
Scandinavia Scandinavia; Sami Places * Sápmi, a cultural region in Northern Europe * Sami, Burkina Faso, a district of the Banwa Province * Sami District, Gambia * Sami, Cephalonia, a municipality in Greece * Sami (ancient city), in Elis, Greece * Sa ...

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 A community is a social unitThe term "level of analysis" is used in the social sciences to point to the loc ...

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 (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or A ...
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 an ethnolinguistic __NOTOC__ Ethnolinguistics (sometimes called cultural linguistics) is a field of linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of ever ...
, 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 A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', ...

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 citizenship, citizen of Canada. Having replaced the previous ''Canadi ...
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 ...
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), Supreme Court of Canada, S.C. 1946, c. 15, is an Act of Parliament, Act of the Parliament of Canada which properly created the concept and statu ...
'' 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, administered by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) and Canada Border Services Agency, C ...
'' was passed by the
Parliament of Canada The Parliament of Canada (french: Parlement du Canada) is the federal Federal or foederal (archaic) may refer to: Politics General *Federal monarchy, a federation of monarchies *Federation, or ''Federal state'' (federal system), a type of gov ...

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)Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is the applied title under the Federal Identity Program since 2015; the legal title is Departm ...
, 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 Immigration law, area of law related to the Immigration to Canada, admission of foreign nationals into Canada, their rights and responsibilities once admitted, and the conditions of their removal. ...
). 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 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 The Canadian diaspora is the group of Canadians 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 p ...
. 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 The legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, ...
, Canada does not restrict
dual citizenship Multiple/dual citizenship (or multiple/dual nationality) is a legal status Legal status is the position held by something or someone with regard to law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelat ...
, but
Passport Canada Passport Canada was an independent, special operating agency of the Government of Canada The government of Canada (french: Gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federation, federal administration of Canada. A constitutional ...
encourages its citizens to travel abroad on their
Canadian passport A Canadian passport (french: passeport canadien) is the passport issued to citizens Citizenship is the Status (law), status of a person recognized under the law of a country (and/or local jurisdiction) of belonging to thereof. In internation ...
so that they can access Canadian .


Ethnic ancestry

According to the
2016 census Sixteen or 16 may refer to: *16 (number), the natural number following 15 and preceding 17 *one of the years 16 BC, AD 16, 1916, 2016 Films * ''Pathinaaru'' or ''Sixteen'', a 2010 Tamil film * Sixteen (1943 film), ''Sixteen'' (1943 film), a 1943 ...
, the country's largest self-reported ethnic origin is Canadian (accounting for 32% of the population), followed by
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 ...
(18.3%),
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 ...
(13.9%),
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...
(13.6%),
Irish Irish most commonly refers to: * Someone or something of, from, or related to: ** Ireland Ireland ( ; ga, Éire ; Ulster Scots dialect, Ulster-Scots: ) is an island in the Atlantic Ocean, North Atlantic. It is separated from Great Britai ...
(13.4%),
German German(s) may refer to: * Germany (of or related to) **Germania (historical use) * Germans, citizens of Germany, people of German ancestry, or native speakers of the German language ** For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law **Ger ...
(9.6%),
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in . It is the world's , with a of more than 1.4 billion. China spans five geographical and 14 different count ...
(5.1%),
Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the people of Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Alps ...
(4.6%), First Nations (4.4%),
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 ...
(4.0%), and
Ukrainian Ukrainian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Ukraine * Something relating to Ukrainians an East Slavic people from Eastern Europe * Something relating to Demographics of Ukraine, in terms of demography: population of Ukraine * Somethi ...
(3.9%). There are 600 recognized 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 A visible minority () is defined by the Government of Canada as "persons, other than aboriginal peoples, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour". The term is used primarily as a demographic category by Statistics Canada, in connect ...
. In 2016, the largest visible minority groups were
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 ( ...
(5.6%), Chinese (5.1%), and
Black Black is a color which results from the absence or complete absorption Absorption may refer to: Chemistry and biology *Absorption (chemistry), diffusion of particles of gas or liquid into liquid or solid materials *Absorption (skin), a rout ...
(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 Act Employment equity, as defined in federal Canadian law by the ''Employment Equity Act'' (french: Loi sur l’équité en matière d’emploi), requires federal jurisdiction employers to engage in proactive employment practices to increase the represe ...
'', and this is the definition that Statistics Canada also uses.


Culture

Canadian culture The culture of Canada embodies the artistic Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
is primarily a
Western culture Western culture, also known as Western civilization, Occidental culture, or Western society, is the heritage Heritage may refer to: History and society * In history History (from Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired ...
, with influences by First Nations and other cultures. It is a product of its ethnicities, languages, religions,
political Politics (from , ) is the set of activities that are associated with Decision-making, making decisions in Social group, groups, or other forms of Power (social and political), power relations between individuals, such as the distribution of res ...
, and
legal system The contemporary national legal systems are generally based on one of four basic systems A system is a group of interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and infl ...
(s). Canada has been shaped by waves of migration that have combined to form a unique blend of
art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use ...
,
cuisine A cuisine is a style of cooking characterized by distinctive ingredients, List of cooking techniques, techniques and dish (food), dishes, and usually associated with a specific culture or geographic region. Regional food preparation traditions ...
,
literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...
,
humour Humour (English in the Commonwealth of Nations, Commonwealth English) or humor (American English) is the tendency of experiences to provoke laughter and provide amusement. The term derives from the humorism, humoral medicine of the ancient Gr ...
, and
music Music is the of arranging s in time through the of melody, harmony, rhythm, and timbre. It is one of the aspects of all human societies. General include common elements such as (which governs and ), (and its associated concepts , , and ...
. Today, Canada has a diverse makeup of nationalities and constitutional protection for policies that promote
multiculturalism The term multiculturalism has a range of meanings within the contexts of sociology Sociology is a social science Social science is the branch The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes r ...

multiculturalism
rather than
cultural assimilation Cultural assimilation is the process in which a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer in numbers than the main gr ...
. In Quebec, cultural identity is strong, and many French-speaking commentators speak of a
Quebec culture The culture of Quebec emerged over the last few hundred years, resulting predominantly from the shared history of the French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), off ...
distinct from English Canadian culture. However, as a whole, Canada is a
cultural mosaic "Cultural mosaic" (french: "la mosaïque culturelle") is the mix of ethnic groups An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identity (social science), identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish t ...
: a collection of several regional, indigenous, and ethnic subcultures. Canadian government policies such as official bilingualism;
publicly funded health care Publicly-funded healthcare is a form of health care Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution ...
; higher and more progressive taxation; outlawing
capital punishment Capital punishment, also known as the death penalty, is the state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ' ...
; strong efforts to eliminate
poverty Poverty is the state of having little material possessions or income In microeconomics, income is the Consumption (economics), consumption and saving opportunity gained by an entity within a specified timeframe, which is generally expresse ...
; strict
gun control Gun control (or firearms regulation) is the set of laws or policies that regulate the manufacture, sale, transfer, possession, modification, or use of firearms by civilians. Overview of gun laws by nation, Most countries have a restrictive f ...
; the legalizing of
same-sex marriage Same-sex marriage, also known as gay marriage, is the marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock is a culturally and often legally recognized union between people called spouse A religious marriage. A spo ...
, pregnancy terminations,
euthanasia Euthanasia (from el, εὐθανασία 'good death': εὖ, ''eu'' 'well, good' + θάνατος, ''thanatos'' 'death') is the practice of intentionally ending life to relieve pain and suffering. Different countries have different Legality ...
and
cannabis ''Cannabis'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...
are social indicators of Canada's political and
cultural values In ethics, value denotes the degree of importance of something or action, with the aim of determining what actions are best to do or what way is best to live (normative ethics), or to describe the significance of different actions. Value systems a ...
.
American media Mass media in the United States consist of several types of media: television Television, sometimes shortened to TV or telly, is a telecommunication Telecommunication is the transmission of information by various types of te ...
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 The government of Canada (french: Gouvernement du Canada) is the body responsible for the federation, federal administration of Canada. A constitutional monarchy, the Crown is the Corporation sole#The Crown, corporation sole, assuming distinct r ...
has also influenced culture with programs, laws, and institutions. It has created
Crown corporations A state-owned enterprise (SOE) or government-owned enterprise (GOE) is a business enterprise where the government or state has significant control through full, majority, or significant minority ownership. Defining characteristics of SOEs are ...
to promote Canadian culture through media and has also tried to protect Canadian culture by setting legal minimums on
Canadian content Canadian content (abbreviated CanCon, cancon or can-con; ) refers to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC; french: Conseil de la radiodiffusi ...
. Canadian culture has historically been influenced by
European culture The culture of Europe is rooted in its art, architecture, film, different types of music, economics, literature, and philosophy. European culture is largely rooted in what is often referred to as its "common cultural heritage". Definition T ...
and traditions, especially
British British may refer to: Peoples, culture, and language * British people The British people, or Britons, are the citizens of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ir ...
and
French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a transcontinental country This is a list of co ...
, and by its own
indigenous cultures 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 ...

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 North America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. ...
. First Nations played a critical part in the development of European colonies in Canada, particularly for their role in assisting exploration of the continent during the
North American fur trade #REDIRECT North American fur trade#REDIRECT North American fur trade The North American fur trade, an aspect of the international fur trade, was the acquisition, trade, exchange, and sale of animal furs in North America. Indigenous peoples in Cana ...
. The British conquest of New France in the mid-1700s brought a large
Francophone This article details the geographical distribution of speakers of the French language French ( or ) is a Romance languages, Romance language of the Indo-European languages, Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the ...
population under 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 Habitants () were French people, French settlers and the inhabitants of France, French origin who farmed the land along the two shores of the St. Lawrence River and Gulf of St. Lawrence, Gulf in what is the present-day Province of Quebec in Can ...
'', guaranteeing through the ''
Quebec Act The Quebec Act 1774 (french: Acte de Québec), formally known as the British North America (Quebec) Act 1774, was an act of the Parliament of Great Britain The Parliament of Great Britain was formed in May 1707 following the ratification ...
'' 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

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

* * * * * * * * * * * *


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