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Newfoundland and Labrador are situated in northeast Canada. The province is comprised of a continental or mainland province and the outlying islands that hang over the New England region of the United States.
Newfoundland is named the “New Found Land” as proclaimed by King Henry VII when it was first colonies by the British. Labrador actually comes from an Inuit word that means “the big land.”
Before colonization, the province was inhabited by Inuits who date back 9000 years. Maritime Archaic peoples were using currency to trade with tribes that settled in Maine. They were slowly overtaken/displaced by the Dorset Culture and then the Beothuk People. Finally, the Thule people emerged, and they were adapted to the cold climate in this area. They became the Mi’kmaq people, and they are the inhabitants who were overtaken by the British.
Basque fishermen were the first people to settle in this area as they sailed across the Atlantic. The province was claimed for England by Humphrey Gilbert in 1583, and the area began to change hands between England and France. This happened often during the colonial period even while James Cook was making detailed maps of the coastline. It was not until 1854 when Britain introduced what was known as the Responsible Government. While France was not pleased to give up the islands, the conflict practically stopped.
From that point on, this province has been a part of Canada, and it still features a large mix of French and British descendants who live both on the island and the mainland.
This is the easternmost part of North America, and it is the corner of North America that you would recognize on a map. The province is split perfectly by the Strait of Belle Isle. Labrador is on the western side of the strait, and the islands of Newfoundland are in the east.
Labrador looks roughly like a triangle, and the islands of Newfoundland dangle over Maine. There is quite a lot of trade and fishing still going on in the area, and the open border between the US and Canada allows people to travel freely between Newfoundland and Maine with no trouble.
The jagged shoreline of the islands creates many mall inlets where settlers could set up their townships. People still live in these remote areas, and they live a purely rural existence.
St. John’s is the capital, and Grand Falls is one of the larger and more notable cities. About half a million people live in the province, and that provides quite a lot of space for everyone. There is very little congestion in the province, and much of the area is covered by forests or obstructed by rocky coasts.
Newfoundland and Labrador have what is known as a tropical climate, but they have cool summers. The islands and mainland reach about 60 degrees in the summer because they sit so far north. In the winter, they will experience significant snowfall for months at a time. Lakes and rivers will freeze, and the ocean temperatures will drop below zero. The intense waves from the North Atlantic do not allow coastal waters to freeze, and fishing may go on even in the hardest of conditions.
The economy in the province plummeted when the cod fishing industry declined in the 1980 and 1990s. The economy was depressed for some time, but a rise in employment occurred when the services industry, oil, gas, and resources industries took hold. Over 250,000 people are gainfully employed in the province, and many of them work in healthcare or government offices.
There are energy companies exploring in the area, and they offer jobs in oil and gas. There are iron ore mines, and there are various quarries that provide jobs to small towns around the province. Offshore oil rigs have become a popular part of the economy. Plus, the fishing industry is still strong. However, the fishing industry does not represent the majority of the province’s economy. Fishermen catch cod, halibut, herring, mackerel, and haddock. Many of these fishermen have private clients who receive their catch fresh every day. The rest of the industry works with canneries and processing plants along the coast.
Newfoundland and Labrador has its own time zone. You might notice that the timing is odd when you get there because they are 30 minutes ahead of Atlantic time and 90 minutes ahead of Eastern Time.
You may not realize how important the province is to wireless transit. Marconi actually chose Signal Hill in Newfoundland to receive the first wireless message. He knew the position and elevation would be enough to make his wireless system work, and that puts Newfoundland at the forefront of communication in the modern age.
You cannot drive to Newfoundland. There are no bridges that will take you from Labrador to Newfoundland. You must take a ferry or fly into the islands.
Accents in Ireland and Newfoundland are very similar. In fact, people in Waterford, Ireland and St. John’s, Newfoundland have been found to have identical accents owing to the province’s British heritage.
Newfoundland spent much longer under British rule than the rest of Canada. The islands did not join Canada until 1949. You can see the British influences because they prefer rugby, soccer, and cricket to something like ice hockey.
Finally, you can travel to Saint Pierre and Miquelon which are actually French islands. In fact, you can go to France without leaving Canada.
Newfoundland and Labrador Cities and Regional Municipalities Include:
|Conception Bay South||Corner Brook||Mount Pearl||St. John’s|