Although responsible government had existed in Canada since 1848, Britain continued to set its foreign and defence policies until the end of the First World War.
The passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 recognized that Canada had become co-equal with the United Kingdom.
The Hopewell tradition is an Indigenous culture that flourished along American rivers from 300 BCE to 500 CE.
At its greatest extent, the Hopewell Exchange System connected cultures and societies to the peoples on the Canadian shores of Lake Ontario.
The Norse, who had settled Greenland and Iceland, arrived around the year 1000 and built a small settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows at the northernmost tip of Newfoundland (carbon dating estimate 990 – 1050 CE) Under letters patent from King Henry VII of England, the Italian John Cabot became the first European known to have landed in Canada after the time of the Vikings.
Records indicate that on 24 June 1497 he sighted land at a northern location believed to be somewhere in the Atlantic provinces.
After 1497 Cabot and his son Sebastian Cabot continued to make other voyages to find the Northwest Passage, and other explorers continued to sail out of England to the New World, although the details of these voyages are not well recorded.
João Álvares Fagundes and Pêro de Barcelos established fishing outposts in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia around 1521 CE; however, these were later abandoned, with the Portuguese colonizers focusing their efforts on South America.
The introduction of pottery distinguishes the Woodland culture from the previous Archaic-stage inhabitants.
The Laurentian-related people of Ontario manufactured the oldest pottery excavated to date in Canada.
The colony of New France was established in 1534 and was ceded to the United Kingdom in 1763 after the French defeat in the Seven Years' War.
The now British Province of Quebec was divided into Upper and Lower Canada in 1791 and reunified in 1841.
The inlets and valleys of the British Columbia Coast sheltered large, distinctive populations, such as the Haida, Kwakwaka'wakw and Nuu-chah-nulth, sustained by the region's abundant salmon and shellfish.