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Pre-colonisation[ edit ] The Beothuk tribe of Newfoundland is extinct but represented in museum, historical and archeological records.

Human habitation in Newfoundland and Labrador can be traced back about 9, years. The number of their sites discovered on Newfoundland indicates they may have been the most numerous group of Aboriginal people to live there.

Newfoundland and Labrador

They thrived from about BC to AD Many of their sites were located on exposed headlands and outer islands. They were more oriented to the sea than earlier peoples, and had developed sleds and boats similar to kayaks. They burned seal blubber in soapstone lamps.

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Renouf has excavated huge amounts of harp seal bones at Port au Choix, indicating that this place was a prime location for the hunting of these animals. The inhabitants eventually organized themselves into small bands of a few families, grouped into larger tribes and chieftainships.

The Innu are the inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinani. Their subsistence activities were historically centred on hunting and trapping cariboudeer and small game. Each district was independently governed and had a district chief and a council. The council members were band chiefs, elders and other worthy community leaders. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

December Learn how and when to remove this template message By the time that European contact with Newfoundland began in the early 16th century, the Beothuk were the only indigenous group living permanently on the island. Instead, their trading interactions were sporadic, and they largely attempted to avoid contact in order to preserve their culture.

In the 18th century, as the Beothuk were driven further inland by these encroachments, violence between Beothuk and settlers escalated, with each retaliating against the other in their competition for resources.

By the early 19th century, violence, starvation, and exposure to tuberculosis had decimated the Beothuk population, and they were extinct as a cultural group by This suggests that when the Vikings abandoned their colonization of Newfoundland around AD, they might have brought back Beothuk women to Europe. Around the yearthe sagas refer to Leif Ericson landing in three places to the west, [42] the first two being Helluland possibly Baffin Island and Markland possibly Labrador.

The earliest, though, is the Voyage of Saint Brendanthe fantastical account of an Irish monk who made a sea voyage in the early 6th century.

While the story itself became a part of myth and legend, some historians believe it is based on fact. Historians disagree on whether Cabot landed in Nova Scotia in or in Newfoundland, or possibly Maine, if he landed at all, but Bonavista is recognised by the governments of Canada and the United Kingdom as being Cabot's "official" landing place.

Newfoundland Colony Sometime before Basque fishermen, who had been fishing cod shoals off Newfoundland's coasts since the beginning of the sixteenth century, founded Plaisance today Placentiaa seasonal haven which French fishermen later also used.

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This will is the oldest known civil document written in Canada. Though English fishing boats had visited Newfoundland continuously since Cabot's second voyage in and seasonal fishing camps had existed for a century prior, the Basque, French, and Portuguese had done likewise.

Inhowever, this changed: Bernard Drake led a devastating raid on the Spanish and Portuguese fisheries from which they never recovered. This provided an opportunity to secure the island and led to the appointment of Proprietary Governors to establish colonial settlements on the island from to John Guy became governor of the first settlement at Cuper's Cove.

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The first governor given jurisdiction over all of Newfoundland was Sir David Kirke in A painting of the Inuit woman Mikak and her son, by John Russell in Explorers quickly realized that the waters around Newfoundland had the best fishing in the North Atlantic.

They dried and salted cod on the coast and sold it to Spain and Portugal. Heavy investment by Sir George Calvert1st Baron Baltimore, in the s in wharves, warehouses, and fishing stations failed to pay off. French raids hurt the business, and the weather was terrible, so he redirected his attention to his other colony in Maryland. The Mi'kmaq, as allies of the French, were amenable to limited French settlement in their midst and fought alongside them against the English.

The entire population of the English colony was either killed, captured for ransom, or sentenced to expulsion to England, with the exception of those who withstood the attack at Carbonear Island and those in the then remote Bonavista. The French colonization period lasted until the Treaty of Utrecht ofwhich ended the War of the Spanish Succession: France ceded to the British its claims to Newfoundland including its claims to the shores of Hudson Bay and to the French possessions in Acadia.

However, in the Seven Years' War —control of Newfoundland once again became a major source of conflict between Britain, France and Spain who all pressed for a share in the valuable fishery there. Britain's victories around the globe led William Pitt to insist that nobody other than Britain should have access to Newfoundland.

On 3 AugustRut wrote a letter to King Henry on the findings of his voyage to North America; this was the first known letter sent from North America.

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John's, at the purported site of Gilbert's landing and proclamation. Bythe fishermen of England's West Country controlled most of Newfoundland's east coast. John's "the principal prime and chief lot in all the whole country. John's was established as a permanent community.

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The population grew slowly in the 17th century: John's was Newfoundland's largest settlement when English naval officers began to take censuses around John's, bringing hundreds of Irish men into the port to operate inshore fishing boats. John's by the Dutch admiral Michiel de Ruyter in June The inhabitants fended off a second Dutch attack inwhen it was defended by Christopher Martin, an English merchant captain.

Martin landed six cannons from his vessel, the Elias Andrews, and constructed an earthen breastwork and battery near Chain Rock commanding the Narrows leading into the harbour. With only 23 men, the valiant Martin beat off an attack by three Dutch warships.

The English government planned to expand these fortifications Fort William in aroundbut construction didn't begin until after the French admiral Pierre Le Moyne d'Iberville captured and destroyed the town in the Avalon Peninsula Campaign When English reinforcements arrived in latethey found rubble where the town and fortifications had stood.

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The French attacked St. John's again in Siege of St. John'sand captured it in Battle of St. John'sdevastating civilian structures with fire on each instance. John's to British forces under the command of Colonel William Amherst. As mentioned above, while English fishermen had set up seasonal camps in St. John's in the 16th century, they were expressly forbidden by the English government, at the urging of the West Country fishing industry, from establishing permanent settlements along the English-controlled coast.

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As a result, the town of St. John's was not established as a 'permanent' community until after the s. Augustine, Florida established by Spain in