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) are people identified with the country of Canada.This connection may be residential, legal, historical, or cultural.For most Canadians, several (or all) of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.Canada is a multilingual and multicultural society home to people of many different ethnic, religious and national origins, with the majority of the population made up of Old World immigrants and their descendants.Following the initial period of French and then the much larger British colonization, different waves (or peaks) of immigration and settlement of non-indigenous peoples took place over the course of nearly two centuries and continue today.Elements of Indigenous, French, British, and more recent immigrant customs, languages and religions have combined to form the culture of Canada and thus a Canadian identity.
Legislative independence was established with the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Canadian Citizenship Act of 1946 took effect on January 1, 1947, and full sovereignty was achieved with the patriation of the constitution in 1982.
Canada's nationality law closely mirrored that of the United Kingdom.
Legislation since the mid-20th century represents Canadians' commitment to multilateralism and socioeconomic development.
While the first contact with Europeans and indigenous peoples in Canada had occurred a century or more before, the first group of permanent settlers were the French, who founded the New France settlements, in present-day Quebec and Ontario; and Acadia, in present-day Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, during the early part of the 17th century.
During the 18th and 19th century; immigration westward (to the area known as Rupert's Land) was carried out by "Voyageurs"; French settlers working for the North West Company; and by British settlers (English and Scottish) representing the Hudson's Bay Company, coupled with independent entrepreneurial woodsman called "Coureur des bois".