Locating Newfoundland and Labrador

March 21, 2008 at 9:39 pm | Posted in Language, Maps | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I will continue with the people in Canada. Today, talking with some workmates, this topic has come out, and they have been telling me some things. The situation it is still not clear, but now I have more clues to keep searching. They told me that it had hit the headlines that ten years ago Canada gave some authonomy to one of its provinces, traditionally indigenous. Since I have no idea about it, I started looking for it at the Wiki:

Concerning Innu’s land, in 1869, Newfoundland decided in an election to remain a British territory, over concerns that central Canada would dominate taxation and economic policy. In 1907, Newfoundland and Labrador acquired dominion status. However, in 1933, the government of Newfoundland fell and during World War II, Canada took charge of Newfoundland’s defence. Following World War II, Newfoundland’s status was in question. In a narrow majority, the citizens of Newfoundland and Labrador voted for confederation in a 1948 referendum. On March 31, 1949, Newfoundland and Labrador became Canada’s tenth and final province.

Geographically, the province consists of the island of Newfoundland and the mainland Labrador, on Canada’s Atlantic coast. While the name “Newfoundland” is derived from English as “New Found Land” (a translation from the Latin Terra Nova), Labrador comes from the Portuguese lavrador, a title meaning “landholder” held by Portuguese explorer of the region, João Fernandes Lavrador.

As of October, 2007, the province’s population is estimated to be 507,475. Newfoundland has its own dialects of the English, French, and Irish languages. The English dialect in Labrador shares much with that of Newfoundland. Furthermore, Labrador has its own dialects of Innu-aimun and Inuktitut.

The 2006 census returns showed a population of 505,469. Of the 499,830 singular responses to the census question concerning ‘mother tongue’ the languages most commonly reported were:

1. English 488,405 97.7%
2. French 1,885 0.4%
3. Montagnais-Naskapi 1,585 0.3%
4. Chinese 1,080 0.2%
5. Spanish 670 0.1%
6. German 655 0.1%
7. Inuktitut 595 0.1%
8. Urdu 550 0.1%
9. Arabian 540 0.1%
10. Dutch 300 0.1%
11. Russian 225 ~
12. Italian 195 ~

The website of the Newfoundland and Labrador Government offers some information, as well as an interesting section that focuses on Labrador’s aboriginals. But you will have to wait for the next chapters for that 🙂

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