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Window on Canada

Origin of the name "Canada" In 1535, the aboriginal people told French explorer Jacques Cartier about the route to "kanata". They were referring to the village of Stadacona - "kanata" was simply the Huron-Iroquois word for "village" or "settlement". Cartier used "Canada" to refer not only to Stadacona (site of present-day Quebec City), but also to the entire area. Maps as early as 1547 designated everything north of the St. Lawrence River as "Canada". Canada is a BIG country! Area: 9,970,610 sq. km. (3,849,652 sq. mi.) The estimated population of Canada as of 2010 is 34,000,000+. Canada is the second-largest country in the world, by surface area. Russia is first with 17,070,000 sq. km., then Canada, followed by China with 9,597,000 sq. km. and the U.S.A. with 9,363,000 sq. km. Canada comprises seven percent (7%) of the earth's total surface area. LANGUAGE Over 20.4 million Canadians have a mother tongue of English and 6.6 million have a mother tongue of French. 5.6 million Canadians have another mother tongue, but speek one or both official languages. Chinese is Canada's third most common language. RELIGIONS Majority of Canadians are Christians: 55 percent of Canadians are Roman Catholic, other religions in Canada include: Protestanism, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, Sikhism and Buddhism