New Brunswick is the 8th-most populous province of Canada, after Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan. It is one of the three Maritime provinces and shares a maritime border with Nova Scotia to the southeast.
New Brunswick lies in eastern Canada, just below the 49th parallel and generally east of Quebec.
The territory was first named by French settlers located along its coast as L’Acadie after its long thin shape following a local river’s path through the coastal plains (French: “les ardoises” or “platteaux”).
Canada at one time also included what was known as Rupert’s Land. This was a vast territory of northern, untapped wilderness. It represented a third of what is now Canada.
From 1670 to 1870, Rupert’s Land was the exclusive commercial domain of the Hudson’s Bay Company. It was used as the primary trapping grounds of the fur trade for beaver and other animal pelts.
The territory of Ruperts Land was named after Prince Rupert, the first governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company.
A Quick History of New Brunswick
During the 16th century, French explorers first arrived to the area. These explorers began to settle the region in the following century, as a part of the colony of Acadia.
This Acadian culture is still present in modern New Brunswick culture.
Acadian refugees started moving into the area by the early 18 century. This was accelerated after the French gave up their claim to Nova Scotia, which happened in 1713.
Prior to this, the First Nations of New Brunswick had occupied the province and surrounding Maritime area for more than 13,000 years. These First Nations tribes would include the Mi’kmaq, Maliseet, and Passamaquoddy.
The Language in New Brunswick
The province is one of two Canadian provinces and territories to have a significant Francophone population. In New Brunswick, more than 31% of the population is French speaking.
It’s interesting to note that New Brunswick is the only fully bilingual province in Canada.
The majority of New Brunswickers speak either English or French as their first official language.
This is the highest percentage of bilingual speakers among the Canadian provinces and territories.
Life in New Brunswick
The province’s major urban centres include Moncton, Fredericton, Dieppe and Bathurst.
New Brunswick has low unemployment (looking for a job in Moncton?). The province has a resource-based economy that depends largely on forestry, mining, and fishing.
Other smaller industries like tourism, agriculture, small-scale manufacturing, and a growing service sector provide a necessary balance and diversity.