Happy Canada Day!
Here we are, finally. It’s Canada’s 150th birthday.
Except it’s not.
But you all know that, right?
This land we call Canada has been inhabited for tens of thousands of years by the Indigenous peoples, and then by European settlers who came long before 1867. So 1867 wasn’t the start of anything, really, because Canada is much, much older than 150.
What did happen on July 1, 1867, was simply that a piece of legislation came into effect. A piece of legislation passed by the British government and given royal assent by Queen Victoria.
Known as the British North America Act of 1867, that legislation united three British colonies (the Province of Canada and the colonies of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick) into the dominion of Canada, and created four provinces: Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick.
Sir John A. Macdonald — or Sir John A., as I like to call him — became our first prime minister. That’s him below.
The name “Canada” comes from the Indigenous word kanata, which means “village.” As we celebrate Canada today, let’s make sure we celebrate all of our origins.