Province (pop., 2006: 505,469), one of the four Atlantic provinces of Canada. Consisting of the island of Newfoundland and Labrador on the mainland and bounded by Quebec, it extends into the North Atlantic Ocean and is the easternmost part of North America. Its capital is St. John's. It was originally settled by Indians (First Nations) and Inuit (the Arctic people of Canada known as Eskimo in Alaska). Viking ruins from circa AD 1000 have been found in the northern part of the island. John Cabot claimed the island for England in 1497; the first colony was established at St. John's in 1583. France and England disputed possession of the area; though England retained control with the 1713 Peace of Utrecht, controversies over fishing rights continued through the 19th century. A province since 1949, it includes the Grand Banks fishing grounds. Fishing, mainly for cod, was virtually the only economic activity until the early 20th century, when western Labrador's vast iron reserves began to be exploited. Fishing subsequently declined considerably with the depletion of stocks, but exploration for offshore petroleum and natural gas and also tourism rose in importance.
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Dog breed developed in Newfoundland, possibly from crosses between native dogs and the Great Pyrenees dogs that Basque fishermen introduced into North America in the 17th century. Noted for sea rescues, the gentle, patient Newfoundland stands 26–28 in. (66–71 cm) and weighs 110–150 lbs (50–68 kg). Powerful hindquarters, a large lung capacity, large webbed feet, and a heavy, oily coat enable it to swim in cold waters. It has also been used as a watchdog and draft animal. The typical Newfoundland is solid black; the Landseer Newfoundland is usually black and white.
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