The French came to Canada to colonize the region for fur trading. New France was a colony of France for 150 years, and during that time, 10,000 people, most of whom were from France, immigrated to the area. These people were fur traders, indentured servants, members of the military, farmers and women sent by the king to help populate the colony.
The first permanent French settlement was called Quebec City, and it was settled on the site of present day Quebec. In 1620, 12 years after it was first settled, the settlement was a fur trading post, and it had just 60 colonists residing in it.
The success of the French in this part of the world is related to their relationship with the native people of the area. The French formed alliances with the Algonquin and Huron tribes and traded furs with them. However, there were years of wars between the French and the Iroquois later.
Currently, approximately 22 percent of Canadians are from French Canadian descent. However, nearly one million French Canadians immigrated to the United States between 1840 and 1930. The descendants of these early settlers now reside all over North America, although the largest group of them still lives near Quebec.