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Unit 7 Canada

作者:未知来源:中央电教馆时间:2006/4/17 20:29:54阅读:nyq


Flag------A symbol of Canadian identity

  The official ceremony inaugurating the new Canadian flag was held on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on February 15, 1965, with Governor General Georges Vanier, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson, the members of the Cabinet and thousands of Canadians in attendance.

  The Canadian Red Ensign, bearing the Union Jack and the shield of the royal arms of Canada, was lowered and then, on the stroke of noon, our new maple leaf flag was raised. The crowd sang the national anthem O Canada followed by the royal anthem God Save the Queen.

  The following words, spoken on that momentous day by the Honourable Maurice Bourget, Speaker of the Senate, added further symbolic meaning to our flag: "The flag is the symbol of the nation's unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion."

The population of Canada

  The population of Canada was 28, 856, 761 at the time of the latest census in 1996, compared to 27.3 million in 1991. The growth rate from 1991 to 1996 was I . 15 percent per year; this is the fourth highest rate among the 27 countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which corresponds roughly to the most developed industrial countries of the world. Half of this growth is due to immigration. Canada's liberal immigration program accepts newcomers from nearly every other country in the world. The estimated population in 2000 was 31, 330, 255.

      Most Canadians live in cities, and most of the cities are close to the southern border. The largest urban centers are Ontario provinces, or central Canada, where some two - thirds of the people live. Most of the population is ethnically British or French, although other European countries are well represented, and indigenous peoples are the majority in the north. French and English are the official languages, although the people who speak English as their mother tongue outnumber those whose mother tongue is French by 2? to 1. Roman Catholics, who include most French - speaking people, are the most numerous religious group, followed by the United Church of Canada and the Anglican Church. Immigrants are a growing minority, particularly those from Asia, and have been changing the face of Canada’s largest ban areas.

  Canadians have a high literacy rate and a number of fine universities. The standard of living is one of the world’s highest, although one in seven households is poverty stricken. Violent crime is low compared to other North American societies, but has been rising.

The First Canadians

  Thousands of years before the first European explorers “discovered” it, the land that would one day become known as Canada was populated by tribes of aboriginal people. These people used to be called “Indians”: it is said that when Columbus discovered America, he thought he had arrived in India and thus accidentally misidentified the native population as being “Indian”. Since the 1980s native Canadians have been officially referred to as “the First Nations”: “first” because they axe the original inhabitants of the country, and “nations” because there is not one single group or culture - there are many “nations”, or tribes, which have different languages, customs and beliefs. The term “Indian” was discarded because it did not reflect the rich cultural diversity and contributions of these peoples. Calling them “Indians” is like calling all the people who live in Europe and North America “western people.” While it is not incorrect, it is not very descriptive. The First Nations now make up about 3 percent of the Canadian population, and their numbers are increasing due to high birthrates.

  The languages, beliefs, customs and activities of the First Nations varied according to where they lived. The life - style of the people who inhabited Canada's coasts depended on fishing and hunting; those who lived on the prairies were nomads that hunted herds of buffalo which provided them with food, clothing and tools; and in central and eastern Canada, the First Nations grew crops as well as hunted.

  In addition to the First Nations, Canada's constitution officially recognizes two other special groups of aboriginal peoples. In the far north are the Inuit (Eskimo), a group who adapted to the harsh conditions of the arctic climate by hunting seals, whales, caribou and polar bears. Today, some of these people still live this way; others can now make a living through selling their carvings and handicrafts which are prized by collectors for their beauty. The final group is the Metis, who emerged when French fur traders married Indian women. In appearance and in life - styles, their children inherited characteristics from both their European and aboriginal backgrounds and their close involvement in the fur trade made their economic development different from other aboriginal peoples. For these reasons it was decided that the Metis constituted an aboriginal people different from the other two groups, international trade as beneficial.


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