Prince Edward Island is Canada's smallest province, making up just 0.1 per cent of Canada’s total land area. It is situated in the Gulf of St Lawrence and separated from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick by the Northumberland Strait. PEI was known to its earliest settlers, the Mi’kmaq as Abegweit, meaning "cradle in the waves,” and was described by Jacques Cartier in 1534 as "the fairest land that may possibly be seen." PEI's deep red soil has always been its most striking feature and, together with the sea, the mainstay of the population since the early 18th century.4
Preceded by Basque fishermen, Jacques Cartier arrived at Île Brion in 1534; he named it in honour of the great French admiral. He christened the islands "Les Araynes" (arènes is a French poetry word for sand) because of the endless beaches of sand. Later French fishermen called them Îles Ramées.