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French interest in the New World began with Francis I of France, who in 1524 sponsored Giovanni da Verrazzano to navigate the region between Florida and Newfoundland in hopes of finding a route to the Pacific Ocean.
Although the English had laid claims to it 1497 when John Cabot made landfall somewhere on the North American coast (likely either modern-day Newfoundland or Nova Scotia) and had claimed the land for England on behalf of King Henry VII, these claims were not exercised and England did not make any attempts at permanent colonization.
After the Constitution was repatriated in 1982, the final vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament were removed.
Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories and is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.
The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day.
Prior to European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited for millennia by Aboriginal peoples, with distinct trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and styles of social organization.
The new dominion expanded by incorporating other parts of British North America, finishing with Newfoundland and Labrador in 1949.
On the Great Plains the Cree or Nēhilawē (who spoke a closely related Central Algonquian language, the plains Cree language) depended on the vast herds of bison to supply food and many of their other needs.
To the northwest were the peoples of the Na-Dene languages, which include the Athapaskan-speaking peoples and the Tlingit, who lived on the islands of southern Alaska and northern British Columbia.
For the French however, Jacques Cartier planted a cross in the Gaspé Peninsula in 1534 and claimed the land in the name of Francis I establishing a region called Canada.
Permanent settlement attempts by Cartier at Charlesbourg-Royal in 1541, at Sable Island in 1598 by Marquis de La Roche-Mesgouez, and at Tadoussac, Quebec in 1600 by François Gravé Du Pont had all eventually failed.
Some of these civilizations had long faded by the time of the first European arrivals and have been discovered through archaeological investigations.