*CANADA (4)

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Canadian_Horseshoe_Falls_with_Buffalo_in_background

Photo: public domain

INUIT PEOPLE

Public domain

Photo: public domain



FUN FACTS!

• Canada has national parks bigger than some countries.

• Canada’s lowest recorded temperature was in 1947: -81F. (-63C). That’s the same temperature as on Mars!

• Millions of children in the world write letters each year (in more than 30 languages) to Santa Claus. They use the address:  SANTA CLAUS. NORTH POLE, HOH OHO Every letter is answered thanks to thousands of Canadian postal workers and volunteers.



Canada is also one of the ten most peaceful countries in the world, and the happiest country in the world after Denmark. Canada has more ethnic and cultural groups than almost any other nation. (African countries have the most ethnic groups of all countries.)


PART ONE:  A LITTLE HISTORY

THE first nation of people in Canada were the Inuit peoples. One important fact about Canadian history is that the people who later came to Canada from other countries lived mostly in peace with the native people and respected them. This left a lasting quality in Canada as being a country of peace and tolerance [living peacefully with people who are different from you.]  The native peoples gave the country it’s name. “Canada” is a word from the Iroquoi Indian people meaning “village”. The name of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, is a word from the Algonquin Indians that means “to trade”. [trade: to give someone some thing and they give you some thing in return, and not money.]

     The first visitor-settlers [people making a home in a country] were Norsemen around 1000 AD. Almost 500 years later, explorers came from Italy and then later from France, England, Ireland and Scotland. From the earliest times, Canada had two official languages: French and English. 

     Canada is the second largest country in the world. It has the longest shoreline [land along an ocean] and the longest undefended [not guarded by soldiers] border in the world. [It shares its border with the United States.] The country is governed by what is called a parliamentary system. That is, it has a law-making group of officials elected by the people. The head of the parliament is the prime minister.  Canada is also a “constitutional monarchy”. Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain is the head of the state, but her powers are limited by Canada’s constitution. It also has a judiciary [people who decide on the correct use of the laws] and a Supreme Court.

     Canada has an army, but it is made up of volunteers. [People are not forced to serve time in the army.] Canada is a member of international organizations like NATO and the United Nations that work together with other nations to solve world conflicts. Canadian Prime Minister, Lester Pearson, thought up the idea of a United Nations Peacekeeping Force. This force is sent to places to protect peace for both sides in a conflict after a war has ended. It is also sent to places to prevent war. For his idea, Prime Minister Pearson won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957. Since then, Canada has served in more than 50 peacekeeping missions.

   Q. How do you think Canada’s history has helped it be one of the most people nations in the world?   



UNIVERSITY of ALBERTA

public domain

Photo: public domain

Canada is the most educated country in the world.

PART TWO:  EDUCATION

     Canada is the most educated country in the world! Over half of its citizens have university degrees. (The second most educated country in the world is Israel, and the third is Japan.) Children must start school by the time they are seven and they must go to school until they are at least sixteen. The percent of adults in Canada who can read and write is 99%. Canada takes pride in having one of the best school systems in the world and is called a world leader in education. Canada has students from all over the world come to its universities. 

   Q. How does education affect peace?   



PART THREE:  LIFE IN CANADA

     Different organizations in the world try to “measure” what life is like different countries. That is very hard to do!  But it is said that Canada is one of the best countries in the world to live in because of the quality of housing, work, income [how much money you get for your work], health and safety. Canadians believe in caring for their communities, in helping people in need, and in having free health care for all. Almost 100% of Canadians live in a home with a private washroom that has an indoor toilet. The  government also works very hard to help the lives of the poorest people so that they can find work and live in good houses. Canada has a very low crime rate. It is against capital punishment [killing people for crimes] and has very strict gun control laws. [Laws that say who can and cannot own guns.]


MONUMENT [STATUE] TO MULTI-CULTURALISM

Robert Taylor

Photo: Wikicommons. Author: Robert Taylor. (Used under fair use.) Monument to Multiculturalism by Francesco Pirelli, Union Station, Toronto.


PART FOUR:  “HELLO, WORLD.  WELCOME!” 

     One of the most important facts about Canada is that it welcomes people from all over the world and offers them [gives them] a new life. Immigration [people moving from 1 country to live in another country] is an important part of Canadian life. More than half of all Canadians are descendants of immigrants [their parents or grandparents were from another country] or they are immigrants themselves. And so, Canada is a very tolerant country. They value [they think it’s important to have] many different cultures and they value the talents and skills immigrants give their country. They also believe that a country with lots of different cultures is better, because people learn from and about each other. The country also accepts a large number of refugees [people who must leave their country because of war or other problems.] Canada, in every way, is shaped by people from many different countries. 

     There are 34 different ethnic groups in Canada with over one hundred thousand [100,000] people.  Eleven ethnic groups have over one million [1,000,000] people. Some of those groups are: Dutch, German, Italian, Polish, Swedish, Ukrainian, Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, Jamaican, Filipino, Lebanese, and Haitian. 

     An important fact to remember about Canada, is that it believes in multi-culturalism [having many different, cultures that use their native talents] and not “cultural assimilation” [forcing other cultures to change and become like the country they moved to].  

   Q. What does Canada’s feeling toward immigrants tell you about the country?   

 ©preInterestEng. July 2013  §  The stories in the magazine portion of the site are written by English language learners. Stories are corrected by a native English speaker.  § Photos are staff or used with permission.  §  To contact us:  go.gently.on@gmail.com