Over centuries, elements of Indigenous, French, British and more recent immigrant customs have combined to form a Canadian culture that has also been strongly influenced by its linguistic, geographic and economic neighbour, the United States.

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The history of Canada covers the period from the arrival of Paleo-Indians thousands of years ago to the present day.

Prior to European colonization, the lands encompassing present-day Canada were inhabited for millennia by Indigenous peoples, with distinct trade networks, spiritual beliefs, and styles of social organization.

Although responsible government had existed in Canada since 1848, Britain continued to set its foreign and defence policies until the end of the First World War.

The passing of the Statute of Westminster in 1931 recognized that Canada had become co-equal with the United Kingdom.

After the Constitution was patriated in 1982, the final vestiges of legal dependence on the British parliament were removed.

Canada currently consists of ten provinces and three territories and is a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarchy with Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state.After 1497 Cabot and his son Sebastian Cabot continued to make other voyages to find the Northwest Passage, and other explorers continued to sail out of England to the New World, although the details of these voyages are not well recorded.João Álvares Fagundes and Pêro de Barcelos established fishing outposts in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia around 1521 CE; however, these were later abandoned, with the Portuguese colonizers focusing their efforts on South America.The Norse, who had settled Greenland and Iceland, arrived around the year 1000 and built a small settlement at L'Anse aux Meadows at the northernmost tip of Newfoundland (carbon dating estimate 990 – 1050 CE) Under letters patent from King Henry VII of England, the Italian John Cabot became the first European known to have landed in Canada after the time of the Vikings.Records indicate that on 24 June 1497 he sighted land at a northern location believed to be somewhere in the Atlantic provinces.The introduction of pottery distinguishes the Woodland culture from the previous Archaic-stage inhabitants.