Travel through our timeline of major events in Canada's history.
The first people arrive in the area. They had crossed a land bridge from northeast Asia to North America.
The Vikings explore what is now Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and New Brunswick.
Explorer John Cabot sails to Canada's east coast and claims it for England.
Explorer Jacques Cartier claims the area now known as Quebec for France. He uses the Huron-Iroquois word for village or community, "kanata," to describe it.
The Treaty of Paris ends seven years of fighting between France and England. France gives its Canadian settlements to England.
Colonies now known as Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec join to create the Dominion of Canada. Its government is similar to Britain's and includes a governor-general, who represents Britain's royalty.
Canada creates the North-West Mounted Police, now known as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police or Mounties, to help keep order.
Gold is discovered in the Klondike region of western Canada.
The St. Lawrence Seaway opens, allowing cargo ships to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the Great Lakes.
Canada flies its red and white maple leaf flag for the first time.
English and French become Canada's official languages.
Montreal hosts the Summer Olympics.
The Charter of Rights and Freedoms becomes the law of the land. It outlines rights for all Canadians.
Calgary hosts the Winter Olympics.
Canada, Mexico and the U.S. sign the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Under the treaty, certain goods traded between the countries are tax-free.
WAYNE R. BILENDUKE—GETTY IMAGES
Nunavut becomes a self-governing Inuit territory. It is the first territory to have a majority native population.