THE DISCOVERY OF CANADA
The first people in Canada crossed the Bering Straits from Asia. In the north, the Inuit lived by hunting seals, walruses and whales. They also hunted caribou. On the west coast, people hunted deer, bear and beaver. They also fished. On the plains, people lived by hunting buffalo. In the east, people grew crops of beans, squash, maize and sunflower seeds.
The first Europeans to reach Canada were the Vikings. In 986 a Viking called Bjarni Herjolfsson was blown off course by a storm and he spotted a new land. However, he sailed away without landing. In 1001 a man named Leif Eriksson landed in the new land, which he named Vinland (it was part of Canada). However, Eriksson did not stay permanently. Later the Vikings did establish a colony in North America but they abandoned it because of conflict with the natives.
However, after the Vikings Canada was forgotten until the end of the 15th century. In 1497 the English king Henry VII sent an Italian named Jean Cabot on an expedition across the Atlantic to Newfoundland. Cabot discovered rich fishing waters off the coast of Canada.
Then in 1534 and in 1535-36, a Frenchman named Jacques Cartier (1491-1557) sailed on two expeditions to Canada. On 10 August 1535 (St Lawrence's Day) he sailed into the St Lawrence River, which he named after the saint.
~Information Sourced from http://www.localhistories.org/canada.html