Throughout Canada's history, millions of immigrants have helped to build this country. Today, Canada, a country with two official languages, welcomes people from more than 150 countries each year.
As Canadians, we are proud that many different cultural and ethnic groups live and work here in harmony. The Canadian Multiculturalism Act recognizes our cultural diversity and states that we are all free to maintain and share our cultural heritage and to participate fully and equally in our national life.
The only people originally from Canada are the Aboriginal peoples, who lived in Canada for thousands of years before the first immigrants came here. The Aboriginal peoples constitute an important part of Canada's population. They are working to protect and promote their languages, cultures and traditions and to acquire self-government.
In a country as large and diverse as Canada, the idea of equality is very important. We have shown how much we value this idea by having it written into the Constitution as the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
In Canada, we also believe in the importance of working together and helping one another.
People who help others without being paid are called volunteers. There are millions of volunteers across Canada. Some people join community groups and help with local projects. Others help friends and neighbours in need. There are hundreds of different ways you can help others in your community.
English- and French-speaking people have lived together in Canada for more than 300 years, and English and French are Canada's two official languages. Linguistic duality is an important aspect of our Canadian identity--over 98 percent of Canadians speak either English or French or both. You must know either English or French to become a Canadian citizen.
Legal documents like the Canadian Constitution and the Official Languages Act protect the rights of individual Canadians with regard to official languages. For example:
Canada's economy is based on a combination of many industries. There are three main types of industries in Canada: natural resources, manufacturing and services.
Natural resource industries include forestry, fishing, agriculture, mining and energy. These industries have played an important part in the country's history and development. Today, the economy of many areas of the country still depends on developing natural resources.
Manufacturing industries make products to sell in Canada and around the world. Manufactured products include paper, technological equipment, automobiles, food, clothing and many other goods. Our largest international trading partner is the United States.
Service industries provide thousands of different jobs in areas like transportation, education, health care, construction, banking, communications and government. Over 70 percent of working Canadians now have jobs in service industries.
Canada is a very large country with an area of 10 million square kilometres, but it has a fairly small population. About 30 million people live here. Most Canadians live in the southern parts of Canada.
Canada has 10 provinces and three territories. Each province and territory has its own capital city. You should know the capital of Canada as well as the capital of your province or territory.
Canada has a fairly small population. About 30 million people live here. Most Canadians live in the southern parts of Canada