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Fur Trade in Canada (Plain-Language Summary)

The fur trade began in the 1600s in what is now Canada. It continued for more than 250 years. Europeans traded with Indigenous people for beaver pelts. The demand for felt hats in Europe drove this business. The fur trade was one of the main reasons that Europeans explored and colonized Canada. It built relationships between Europeans and Indigenous peoples.

(This article is a plain-language summary of the fur trade. If you are interested in reading about this topic in more depth, please see our full-length entry, Fur Trade in Canada.)

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Bloody Falls

Bloody Falls are rapids located about 15 km above the mouth of the Coppermine River in the central Arctic.

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Land

Earth's surface experiences change driven by relief, sea level, hydroclimate and human activity. Extreme hydroclimatic events combined with human activity on steep slopes and/or adjacent to low-lying coasts generate natural hazards.

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River

A river is a course of water, usually growing in volume between its source and its terminus in an ocean, a lake or another river.

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Snow

The size of a snowflake is related to how far the snowflake has fallen from the sky and to how well colliding snow crystals stick to each other. The largest snowflakes are usually observed near 0° C because of the increased forces of adhesion at these temperatures.

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Rain

Central US lows, entering Canada somewhere between Manitoba and Québec, are of major environmental significance because they pass through the industrial heartland of the US and frequently bring ACID RAIN.

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Gold

Gold (Au) is a bright, shiny, yellow metal, notable for its high density (19.3 times the weight of an equal volume of water) and valued for its extreme ductility, strong resistance to corrosion, lustrous beauty and scarcity.

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Humboldt Broncos Bus Crash

One of Canada’s most high-profile highway tragedies occurred on 6 April 2018, when a bus carrying 28 members of the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team collided with a transport truck at a highway intersection near Tisdale, Saskatchewan. The crash killed 16 team members: 10 players and 6 staff. It also led to new truck-driver training and licensing regulations and increased awareness about the availability and use of seat belts among bus passengers.

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Bush Flying in Canada

In Canada, bush flying refers to aviation in sparsely populated northern areas. Flight in the Arctic and the “bush” of the Canadian Shield developed between the world wars. Early bush pilots faced the challenges of cold weather and vast distances between communities. Given the rarity of airstrips, their planes were often equipped with skis or floats so that they could take off and land on water or snow. This type of aviation was key to developing services and industries in the North. While the romantic image of the bush pilot is associated with the past, bush flying continues to serve remote communities in Canada.

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Northern Gateway Pipeline Proposal

The $7.9 billion Northern Gateway project was a pipeline proposal that Enbridge put forward in 2008. Northern Gateway would have carried diluted bitumen (“dilbit”) about 1,170 km from Bruderheim, Alberta to a terminal on the Pacific Ocean at KitimatBritish Columbia. Enbridge claimed that the project would create $1.2 billion in tax revenue for BC, as well as 560 jobs. The Federal Court of Appeal overturned the pipeline’s approval in 2016. That same year, the Liberal government of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau rejected the project.

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Forest Regions

A forest region is a major geographic belt or zone characterized by a broad uniformity both in physiography and in the composition of the dominant tree species. Canada can be divided into eight forest regions.

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Timber Slide

A timber slide is a water-filled chute or runway built to carry “cribs” of timber (see Rafts) around rapids and falls. Similar devices for individual pieces of wood were called “flumes.”

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Physiographic Regions

Canada may be divided into seven physiographic regions: Arctic Lands, Cordillera, Interior Plains, Hudson Bay Lowland, Canadian Shield Forest Lands, St Lawrence Lowlands and Appalachia.

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Natural Regions

Natural regions are intended to describe areas of the Earth's surface which possess similar qualities or attributes. They may refer to either land or water, and can vary in size. The term “natural region” is often used interchangeably with the word “ecozone.”

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Black Bear

The most common and widespread bear in Canada, the black bear (Ursus americanus) is found predominantly in forests of every province and territory, with the exception of Prince Edward Island.

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Marine Disasters

​Over the course of Canada’s history, marine disasters have occurred along the country’s coasts as well as in its freshwater lakes.

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Fog

Radiation fog forms most commonly as moist air is cooled below its dew point, ie, the critical temperature at which air can no longer hold all its water vapour.