French explorer Jacques Cartier extensively explored the eastern region of Canada, ultimately allowing the French government to lay claim to lands within Canada. In addition to securing future land acquisition for the French government, Cartier also receives credit for naming Canada. Initially, Cartier took the name "Canada" from the Huron-Iroquois word "Kanata," which means "village" or "settlement."Continue Reading
Jacques Cartier was born in Brittany, France, in 1491. He spent much of his life as a mariner, embarking on coastal expeditions of the coast of Europe and eventually to North America. Cartier ultimately returned home to France and died on September 1, 1557, in Saint-Malo. During his career as an explorer, Cartier extensively explored the region of Canada surrounding the St. Lawrence River. He also spent time around Quebec, and the French government ultimately claimed ownership of Quebec and established Quebec City through the efforts of Cartier.
Although Cartier spent most of his time in North America in modern-day Canada, his journeys also included excursions to South America. Cartier explored the eastern shores of South America, spending a significant amount of time in Brazil. Upon returning from South America, King Francis I of France sent Cartier and crew on a mission in the 1530s to visit Newfoundland; the crew did so and discovered Prince Edward Island.Learn more about Exploration & Imperialism