How did Canada get its name?

The name “Canada” may have come from an Indian word meaning “A group of huts.”

The origin of Canada’s name is not clear.  Some people think that the word “Canada” may have come from the Indian word “kanata,” meaning “a collection of huts or tents.”

Early in Canada’s history, French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed into the Saint Lawrence River and followed it far inland.  He was stopped by swift rapids at what is now Montreal.


Unable to go farther, he asked the Indians he met what lay farther up the river, and they replied “Kanata.”

Cartier thought they meant the name of a country and called the new land “Canada” on his map.  Later it was discovered that “Kanata” meant just “a small group of huts.”

Another belief is that the name “Canada” came from still another Indian word meaning “welcome.”

Canada is the second-largest country in the world.  Only Russia covers more area than this great northern neighbor of the United States. – Dick Rogers


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