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The island itself

Newfoundland is the part of Newfoundland and Labrador contained on the island of Newfoundland. It should not be confused with Newfoundland and Labrador, the governing body of Newfoundland and Labrador.


It gets more mountainous the further west one goes on in the island.


  • Subarctic (Köppen Dfc)-The highlands.
  • Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfb)- The central uplands and the lowlands.
  • Subpolar oceanic climate (Köppen Cfc)- The extreme southeast, mostly on the Avalon Peninsula.

Colonial rule

Newfoundland was a British colony, self-governing from 1855 until the British re-took control in 1932.


Forestry, fishing, paper making, tourism and iron mining are major sources of income and jobs.


Newfoundland Island- 479,105 (2006), with 262,411 on the south eastern Avalon Peninsula in 2011. Most of the island's people are of English, Irish, French and Scottish origins.

The continental region of The Labrador Coast- 27,197 (2016). Most of the region's people are of English, Irish, French, Scottish, Inuit, 15.6% Metis, and Amerindian origins.


"Ode to Newfoundland", written by British colonial governor Sir Charles Cavendish Boyle in 1902 during his administration of Newfoundland (1901 to 1904).

Discovery dates

  1. Leif Eriksson in the 11th century.
  2. John Cabot (Giovanni Caboto) in 1497.
  3. Gaspar Corte-Real and his brother Miguel Corte-Real  in 1501.
  4. Sir Humphrey Gilbert in 1583 (he also claimed it as an English colony).

Possible conceptions of nationhood

It is undisputed that Newfoundland was once an independent colony and that Dominion of Newfoundland was a dominion nation. Yet, there are also hallmarks of "nationhood" readily visible today despite membership in Canada since 1949. A large part of the population did not want to join in 1949. Many opposed Confederation in the Avalon Peninsula.

Newfoundland and Labrador is the most ethnically homogenous province in Canada. It has many totally unique cultural practices that are the product of centuries of relatively independent development. It has its famous dialect, often jokingly referred to as being difficult enough to understand at times that it may as well be its own language. Newfoundland also demonstrates a separate and distinct democratic practice emphasizing the individual member over the party, has had a unique experience with institutionalized religion in the Canadian context and appears to employ cultural mores in day-to-day interaction markedly different from the rest of Canada provided one is paying close attention. These mores emphasize casual familiarity rather than formal respect irrespective of the size of the local population.

They are apparent in St. John's, the second largest urban centre in Atlantic Canada for instance. Discussion of them is an immense topic in itself. Finally, Newfoundlanders consistently rank the highest on polls ascertaining identification with province over country. The results are generally in the seventies to eighties favouring provincial identification. This is markedly higher than similar polls in Quebec, though those polls are clearly affected by the sovereignty issue. Some say that the island should secede and become a nation, with or without the Labrador.

The Newfoundland polls need not be read as indicating a separatist consciousness or even an emerging one. Rather, they simply indicate that many Newfoundlanders tend to naturally see themselves as Newfoundlanders who are Canadians and not vice versa.

The identities are not irreconcilable, but there is the danger they could become so, should political or economic developments in the future assume a certain shape. It is instructive to consider the use of "nationalistic" appeals by leaders in provincial politics since Confederation.


  13. Landing, E., Peng, S., Babcock, L. E., Geyer, G., & Moczydlowska-Vidal, M. (2007). Global standard names for the lowermost Cambrian series and stage. Episodes, 30(4), 287
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