Newfoundland and Labrador

Newfoundland and Labrador is a Canadian province on the Atlantic coast in North America’s north eastern part. Newfoundland and Labrador is located on the eastern side of Canada. The Strait of Belle Isle divides this area into two geographical areas, Labrador and island of Newfoundland. The province also consists of more than 7000 small islands. Newfoundland has a triangular shape and occupies an area of 43,008 sq mi.

Labrador is irregularly shaped with Quebec on its western border. On the north of Labrador is situated Nunavut. The total area of Labrador is 113,641 sq mi. Labrador is located on the eastern side of Canadian Shield and has extensive areas of metamorphic rock.

In broad terms, Newfoundland has a cool summer version of a humid continental kind of climate that is very much influenced by the ocean. Northern Labrador experiences polar tundra climate while southern Labrador generally goes through subarctic climatic conditions.

People belonging to the Maritime Archaic Tradition were the first human inhabitation in Newfoundland and Labrador, about more than 9000 years back. These people were eventually displaced by the Palaeoeskimo belonging to the Dorset culture, the Mi'kmaq and ultimately by the Inuit in Labrador and also the Beothuks in the island. The first known European contact happened when Vikings settled in L'Anse aux Meadows. After about five hundred years, European explorers Jacques Cartier, John Cabot and several others, along with fishermen from Ireland, England, Portugal and France began exploring the region.

The biggest ethnic group to be found in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the Canadian census of 2001 was the English, which was followed by Irish, Scottish, French and First Nations. English and French are the primary languages spoken by the people. Majority of the people follow the Roman Catholic Church.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy is mainly dependent on service industries like financial services, public administration and healthcare. Other major industries contributing to the economy are oil production, mining, and manufacturing. Traditional industries like fishery, logging, paper mills and sawmills are also to be found here. Mines in this region brought about a total production of worth of $2.5 billion of ore in the year 2006. Oil production contributed to 15% of the total GDP of the provinces in 2006. The fishing industry contributes to more than $440 million to the total GDP. Tourism is also an important part of Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy.

Some of the major cities in this region are:

St. John's (capital)
• Mount Pearl
• Corner Brook
• Paradise
• Gander
• Labrador City
• Stephenville

Famous people
A few of the notable personalities of Newfoundland and Labrador include:

• Dr. F. G. Banting – he was the first Nobel Laureate of Canada
• Captain Bob Bartlett – Arctic Explorer
• Chuck Connors - Actor
• John Crosby – Author/Politician/Lawyer